Johnny Tremain | Study Guide

Esther Forbes

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Johnny Tremain | Characters

Character Description
Johnny Tremain Johnny Tremain is an orphaned teenage boy in colonial Boston who starts out as a brash, but gifted, silversmith's apprentice and gradually matures and becomes involved in revolutionary activities. Read More
Rab Silsbee Rab Silsbee is a quiet but confident young man who works in the office of the Boston Observer, a Whig newspaper, and befriends Johnny. Read More
Cilla Lapham Priscilla "Cilla" Lapham is the second-youngest of the four Lapham daughters who live with their mother in their grandfather's silversmith shop. She is dependable, strong, and devoted to those she loves. Read More
Paul Revere Paul Revere (1735–1818) is a silversmith and a member of the Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs. Read More
Sam Adams Sam Adams (1722–1803) is one of the leaders of the Boston Observers, a (fictional) secret society of Whigs; he is also involved with the (factual) Sons of Liberty, another secret group that advances the rights of colonists and fights against taxation by the British. He's forceful and determined but not idealistic. Read More
Jonathan Lyte Jonathan Lyte, also called Merchant Lyte or Mr. Lyte, is a wealthy merchant in Boston. Read More
John Adams John Adams (1735–1826) is a member of the fictional Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs. After the American Revolution, he served as the second American president (1797–1801).
Mrs. Bessie Mrs. Bessie is the cook at the Lyte mansion. She's sympathetic to Johnny and Cilla. She is also very close to Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty.
British army medical officer The British army medical officer treats Rab after he is hit by a British soldier.
Doctor Church Doctor Benjamin Church (1734–78) is a member of the fictional Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs. He is viewed with suspicion by Sam Adams and the others, who think he is "crooked."
Dove Dove is the oldest of Mr. Lapham's apprentices at the silversmith shop, and he resents Johnny's powerful position there. Dove eventually gets a job as a stable boy at the Afric Queen Tavern.
Dusty Dusty Miller is the youngest of Mr. Lapham's apprentices. He idolizes Johnny but sides with Dove against Johnny's arrogance and bullying. He eventually runs off to sea.
John Hancock John Hancock (1737–93) is one of Boston's wealthiest merchants and a member of the fictional Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs. He orders a sugar basin from the silversmith shop where Johnny works, and Johnny badly injures his hand making it, setting the story in motion.
Mr. Lapham Ephraim Lapham is the elderly, Bible-quoting master silversmith who owns the shop where Johnny apprentices. He has abdicated most of his duties to Johnny.
Mrs. Lapham Mrs. Lapham is Mr. Lapham's widowed daughter-in-law and the mother of Madge, Dorcas, Cilla, and Isannah Lapham. She tries her best to keep the silversmith shop running and looks for suitors to marry her two oldest daughters.
Dorcas Lapham Dorcas Lapham is the second-oldest Lapham daughter. She is given to sentimental outbursts and tears.
Isannah Lapham Isannah Lapham, the youngest Lapham daughter, is only eight years old, but she already knows her beauty can win her favors and admirers. She is a natural actress.
Madge Lapham Madge Lapham is the oldest Lapham daughter. She falls in love with a British soldier.
Mr. Lorne Mr. Lorne, also referred to as Uncle Lorne, is Rab's uncle. He publishes the Boston Observer, the fictional Whig newspaper.
Lydia Lydia is the black laundress at the Afric Queen tavern, where British soldiers are barracked. She becomes one of Johnny's confidantes.
Lavinia Lyte Lavinia Lyte is Jonathan Lyte's beautiful and pampered daughter. She is impressed with the precocious Isannah Lapham and takes the child under her wing. Johnny is enamored of Lavinia.
William Molineux William Molineux (1717–74) is one of the earliest agitators in Boston against British authority and a member of the fictional Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs.
James Otis James Otis (1725–83) is one of the first colonists to speak out against taxation without representation. His fellow Boston Observers view him as mentally unstable; in real life he suffered a head injury and began suffering spells of seeming insanity and outbursts of rage.
Pumpkin Pumpkin is a red-haired British soldier who works occasionally in the stable at the Lyte mansion. He hates army life and wants to desert.
Josiah Quincy Josiah Quincy (1744–75) is a member of the fictional Boston Observers, a secret society of Whigs. A talented lawyer, he agrees to defend Johnny against Jonathan Lyte's accusations of theft.
Lieutenant Stranger Lieutenant Stranger is a young British officer barracked at the Afric Queen tavern. He gives Johnny riding lessons.
Mr. Tweedie Mr. Percival Tweedie is a silversmith enlisted by Mrs. Lapham to run the silversmith shop. He expects that his new position will lead to marriage with one of the Lapham daughters, but they seem to have other ideas.
Doctor Warren Doctor Joseph Warren (1741–75) is Boston's most capable physician and one of the primary leaders of the colonists' resistance to British authority.
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