Sam and Tim's father, Eliphalet Meeker, is the older, wiser, more conservative force guiding Tim, and he always winds up arguing with Sam. Mr. Meeker experienced war in his younger years and has no interest in ever involving himself with it again, and although he opposes treason toward the British monarchy, he does not necessarily side with the Loyalists. He simply pleads disinterest and goes on running his tavern, selling his goods, trading at Verplancks once a year, and not caring who eats his goods so long as he can make a living. He is stubborn, like Sam, and often hotheaded, but he has an aged cautiousness that Sam does not live long enough to cultivate. Mr. Meeker simply does not want himself or his family placed in harm's way. When Sam announces his plan to fight, Father banishes him from the house until he loses his uniform, and then sits down to cry. Mr. Meeker loves his family but guides them with very strict principles based on safety, economics, and morality. Mr. Meeker's wife, Susannah, bases her life more on religious principles. In the first chapter when Sam arrives home, the first thing Father says is to shut the door, and Tim notes, "That's the way Father was—do right first, and then be friendly."