ISEE Reading Comprehension Practice Test 5

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The peopling of the Northwest Territory by companies from the eastern states, such as the Ohio Company under the leadership of Reverend Manasseh Cutler of Ipswich, Massachusetts, furnishes us with many interesting historical tales.

The first towns to be established were Marietta, Zanesville, Chillicothe, and Cincinnati. After the Ohio Company came the Connecticut Company, which secured all the territory bordering Lake Erie, save a small portion known as fire lands and another portion known as Congress lands. The land taken up by the Connecticut people was called the Western Reserve and was settled almost entirely by New England people. The remainder of the state of Ohio was settled by Virginians and Pennsylvanians. Because the British controlled Lakes Ontario and Erie, the Massachusetts and Connecticut people made their journey into the Western Reserve through the southern part of the state. General Moses Cleaveland, the agent for the Connecticut Land Company, led a body of surveyors to the tract, proceeding by way of Lake Ontario. He quieted the Indian claims to the eastern portion of the reserve by giving them five hundred pounds, two heads of cattle, and one hundred gallons of whiskey. Landing at the mouth of the Conneaut River, General Moses Cleaveland and his party of fifty, including two women, celebrated Independence Day, 1796, with a feast of pork and beans with bread. A little later, a village was established at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and was given the name of Cleaveland, in honor of the agent of the company. It is related that the name was afterward shortened to Cleveland by one of the early editors because he could not get so many letters into the heading of his newspaper.

1. Reverend Manasseh Cutler

  • A. led the Ohio Company.
  • B. owned the Western Reserve.
  • C. led the Connecticut Land Company.
  • D. settled the Congress lands.

2. Which title best expresses the main idea of this selection?

  • A. The Settling of the Northwest Territory
  • B. Control of the Great Lake Region
  • C. The Accomplishments of Reverend Manasseh Cutler
  • D. The Naming of Cleveland, Ohio

3. In the last sentence of the selection, the word related is used to mean

  • A. associated with.
  • B. rumored.
  • C. reported.
  • D. thought.

4. The selection suggests that General Cleaveland at first found the Indians to be

  • A. extremely noisy people.
  • B. hostile to his party of strangers.
  • C. starving.
  • D. eager to work with him.

Along the shores of the Indian Ocean, from Africa around to the large islands southeast of Asia, is found a pretty little shellfish that is noted for furnishing what may have been the first money ever used. Its shell, called a cowrie, is white or light yellow, and is about one inch long. Millions of people around the ocean were using these cowries, separately or on strings, for money long before furs or cattle or other kinds of money were used anywhere, as far as is known. Cowries have been found in Assyria, many miles inland, and in China they were used with several other kinds of shells. Tortoise shells had the highest value there, so it might be said that the tortoise shells were the dollar bills while the cowries were the coins. Now, after thousands of years, there are still some tribes in Africa, India, and the South Seas that use cowries.

5. The author believes that the earliest money may have been in the form of

  • A. cattle.
  • B. furs.
  • C. shells.
  • D. string.

6. It is surprising to learn that cowries were used in Assyria because

  • A. cowries are only one inch long.
  • B. cattle were plentiful in Assyria.
  • C. Assyria is away from the seacoast.
  • D. tortoise shells took the place of dollars.

7. The Chinese used _________ for money.

  • A. cattle.
  • B. tortoise shells.
  • C. shellfish.
  • D. whale's teeth.

From Gettysburg to the Battle of the Bulge, carrier pigeons have winged their way through skies fair and foul to deliver the vital messages of battle. Today, in spite of electronics and atomic weapons, these feathered heroes are still an important communication link in any army.

No one could be surer of this than the men at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, the sole Army pigeon breeding and training center in this country. On the roosts at Fort Monmouth perch many genuine battle heroes, among them veteran G.I. Joe.

In 1943, one thousand British troops moved speedily ahead of the Allied advance in Italy to take the small town of Colvi Vecchia. Since communications could not be established in time to relay the victory to headquarters, the troops were due for a previously planned Allied bombing raid. Then, one of the men released carrier pigeon G.I. Joe. With a warning message on his back, he flew 20 miles in 20 minutes, arriving just as the bombers were warming up their motors. For saving the day for the British, the Lord Mayor of London later awarded G.I. Joe the Dickin Medal, England's highest award to an animal.

Even when regular message channels are set up, equipment can break or be overloaded or radio silence must be observed. Then, the carrier pigeon comes into his own. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he completes his mission. In Korea, Homer the homing pigeon was flying from the front to a rear command post when he developed wing trouble. Undaunted, Homer made a forced landing, hopped the last two miles and delivered his message. For initiative and loyalty, Homer was promoted to Pfc.—Pigeon First Class!

8. The writer of this passage evidently believes that carrier pigeons

  • A. have no usefulness in modern warfare.
  • B. should be forced to fly only in emergencies.
  • C. are remarkably reliable as message carriers.
  • D. should receive regular promotions.

9. G.I. Joe was rewarded for

  • A. preventing unnecessary loss of life.
  • B. guiding a bomber's flight.
  • C. returning in spite of an injured wing.
  • D. bringing the news of an allied defeat.

10. G.I. Joe's reward was a

  • A. promotion.
  • B. reception given by the Lord Mayor.
  • C. chance to retire to Fort Monmouth.
  • D. medal.

11. The word vital means

  • A. extremely important.
  • B. frequent.
  • C. recent.
  • D. written.