Johnny Tremain Timeline

Instructor: Valerie Keenan

Valerie has taught elementary school and has her master's degree in education.

'Johnny Tremain,' by Esther Forbes, is the story of pre-revolutionary Boston as seen through the eyes of the title character. It covers a two year period leading up to the first battles of the Revolutionary War, the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

The Fight for Liberty

Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes, is a work of historical fiction that traces the events in Boston, Massachusetts, leading up to the Revolutionary War. Through the title character's eyes, we gain a deeper understanding of the efforts made to free America from the unfair rule of Great Britain.



  • Johnny is the apprentice of silversmith Ephraim Lapham and is betrothed to Mr. Lapham's granddaughter, Priscilla (Cilla) Lapham.
  • Johnny shows Cilla a silver cup that his mother left him before she passed away, linking him to the wealthy Lyte family of Boston.
  • After receiving an order from John Hancock for a sugar basin, Johnny's hand is burnt so badly that he can no longer be a silversmith.

August - September

  • Johnny searches for a new job.
  • Johnny meets and befriends Rab Silsbee who works for a newspaper called The Boston Observer.
  • Johnny decides to take his silver cup to Merchant Lyte in order to prove their relation in the hopes of being taken into the Lyte household.
  • Merchant Lyte charges Johnny with theft and has him arrested and taken to trial, but Johnny is found not guilty.


  • Johnny learns to ride a horse named Goblin and becomes a delivery boy for The Boston Observer. He also becomes involved in the efforts of the Boston Observers, a secret society who aimed to liberate America from the rule of Great Britain.
  • The Tea Tax is instituted, requiring colonists to pay unnecessary taxes on the tea that was shipped to them from London.

December 16th

  • The Boston Tea Party takes place. This was the event in which colonists dumped all of the tea from the English ships into the Boston harbor.

The Boston Tea Party



  • As a result of the Boston Tea Party, England no longer allows ships into the Boston Harbor. This is harmful to business in Boston and causes many families to suffer from lack of work and food.


  • Johnny begins delivering messages for the British soldiers occupying Boston as a spy for the Boston Observers.


  • The Lyte family is driven from their country home in Milton. Johnny helps Cilla, who is working for them, close it up. He learns the truth of his lineage and that he is indeed related to this family.


  • The Boston Observers meet for the last time, and James Otis gives his ''That a man can stand up'' speech.

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