Johnny Tremain Chapter 6 Summary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Chapter six sees Johnny increase his involvement with the political groups in Boston and participate in the Boston Tea Party. Read the following lesson to learn how Johnny gets involved in an uprising against England!

Tension Increases

By chapter six of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain, the feelings between the colonies and English have become tense as the Americans grow frustrated that they are being taxed by government that they aren't able to participate in. For example, England put a small tax on tea, nothing that the Americans would find a hardship, but the Americans didn't have any say about it.

Sam Adams knocks on the door of the shop early Sunday morning to ask for the help with printing a notice that same day because it needs to be secretly posted by the Sons of Liberty this evening. The notice asks citizens to stand up again England by meeting at Faneuil Hall at nine to interfere with the unloading of a tea ship. Even though it is illegal, Mr. Lorne agrees to the printing and pledges his allegiance to Sam and the cause.

Johnny's Mission

Johnny is asked to rally the Boston Observers by visiting each member's home and speaking in code, pretending to deliver a newspaper bill. Johnny saves the North Square area for last since there is a chance that he might see Cilla and Isannah. When passing through, he runs into them by the water pump. Johnny finds that he doesn't have the connection that he once had with either girl, and that his life has completely changed.

Secret Meeting

During the meeting later that night, the Boston Observers discuss how to interfere with the unloading of the tea ship. With the help of boys from the area, like Rab, they plan to destroy the tea on the twentieth day in the harbor instead of it returning to England. Johnny is not asked to participate, but Rab has every intention of including him.

Almost Tea Time

While Johnny practices using an axe with his crippled hand to prepare for the event, the anger around Boston starts to escalate. Public meetings are held outside Old South Church that attract more and more people each day as the ships dock in the harbor. Boston orders that the tea not be unloaded, so it sits on the ships. However, the law states that the ship can't leave until it is completely unloaded.

A Different Kind of Tea Party

Boston Tea Party

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