Samuel Martin is Benjamin Martin's fourth oldest child. As the movie begins in 1776, Samuel is an adventurous twelve year old. In 1778, he is only fourteen when his father orders he and his older brother Nathan to join him on a raid on the British patrol that is taking Gabriel to Camden to be hung for spying. The boys are visibly upset as they fire upon the British soldiers.
The use of the same actors to portray the Martin children over a four year period heightened the controversy over this scene. At that point in the movie, Nathan and Samuel are fifteen and fourteen. In the 18th century boys of that age were already assuming many adult responsibilities and were considered only a year or two away from manhood.
While Nathan is able to quickly bounce back from the experience showing the maturity of a young man, Samuel remains troubled by the experience even after the family arrives at Aunt Charlotte Selton's plantation showing that he is not quite ready for manhood at age fourteen.
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