Johnny Tremain Chapter 7 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 7 describes a change in Boston and a change in Johnny's relationships with people from his past. Johnny will also learn that Sam Adams has an ally in a very unlikely place.

After the Tea Party

In chapter 6 of Esther Forbes's Johnny Tremain, we saw Johnny participate in the protest known as the Boston Tea Party. Now in chapter 7, we learn that Boston is changing and fear is setting in. British ships are guarding the harbor to make sure Boston cannot conduct business. As a result, shops close, people are out of work, and families struggle to get food. The streets are filled with British soldiers, and Governor Hutchinson is replaced with General Gage. Militias form and run drills to prepare for fighting.

Rab Is Assaulted

While Rab and Johnny are in town one day, a British officer knocks Rab unconscious after he reaches to touch his musket. A British medical officer who treats Rab talks about the importance of both sides just getting along before asking Johnny to deliver letters for him. This connection with the British officer leads to a side business for Johnny, and a way to keep an eye on the British.

Cilla Returns

Johnny realizes that he hasn't seen Cilla in a while, and he comes home to see her sitting with Rab and giggling. Johnny feels a tinge of jealousy because Rab has her attention.

Cilla shares that she's working for the Lytes now. Lavinia took a liking to Isannah and wanted to take her in, but Isannah would agree only if Cilla came with her so Miss Lavinia made Cilla her servant.

A Different Relationship

Johnny learns that Dove is now working for the British. One day Johnny witnesses Dove being bullied by British officers and for a moment he thinks about stepping in, but then he remembers how much he despises Dove. However, Johnny later shows kindness to Dove by allowing him to come by the Observer to socialize and eat.

Johnny's Stunt

A horse stunt

A British officer sees Johnny's horse, Goblin, and decides that he wants to buy him even though he isn't for sale. On a test ride, Johnny let a sheet flap in the wind, something known to startle Goblin, and the spooked horse dropped the man into a puddle. Because of Johnny's stunt, he earns the respect of the stable boys who find Goblin food when it is scarce.

Return to Fish Street

Johnny realizes how far he's come when he visits the Laphams to have Tweedie fix his spurs. He sees Madge and her love, British Officer Sergeant Gale. Johnny takes a look around, sees what is familiar, and thinks about how he will never return there again.

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