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Johnny Tremain Notes on Setting, Objects & Places

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Johnny Tremain Objects/Places

Boston: The town where much of the story takes place, Boston is the center of pre-Revolutionary activity. Many important figures of the American Revolution lived in Boston. The first battles of the War of Independence takes place near Boston.

Hancock's Wharf: The wharf where the Lapham's silver shop is located, Hancock's Wharf is owned by John Hancock.

Fish Street: The street on Hancock's Wharf where the Lapham's silver shop is located, Fish Street is busy with many stores and shops.

sugar basin: Mr. Hancock orders a sugar basin from Mr. Lapham, who had made the tea set years earlier. Johnny is confident that they can make it in time. But in order to meet the deadline, Johnny breaks the Sabbath law by working that day. He ends up burning his hand trying to cast silver.

(Johnny's) cup: A silver cup with the crest of the Lyte family logo, Johnny's mother gives him the cup before she dies, telling him to go to Merchant Lyte as proof of his family identity, but only if he is desperate.

(Lyte's) crest: Engraved on almost everything owned by the Lytes, the crest shows an eye rising up from the sea, with rays of light streaming out from it. The motto on the crest reads: Let there be Lyte.

Sabbath: The Sabbath, or Sunday, is the day when most people attend church. Law forbids any work from being done, even firing up a hearth.

Boston Observer: The pro-Whig, anti-British newspaper, the Boston Observer is printed by Rab's uncle, Mr. Lorne. Johnny gets a job delivering the paper to the outer edges of town. Rab and Johnny live in the attic of the Boston Observer office, where the secret society of Whig leaders, the Boston Observers, gathers to meet.

Afric Queen: A tavern where Johnny goes to eat with the silver coin he receives from John Hancock, the Afric Queen is located near the Boston Observer office. It is a popular hangout of Whigs. Later on, British soldiers take over the Afric Queen because it has a stable where they can keep horses. Johnny tends his horse, Goblin, at the Afric Queen stables.

Boston Common: A large area at the center of the town of Boston, British soldiers make their encampment on the Boston Common.

Copp's Hill: A hill with a graveyard, Copp's Hill is where Johnny's mother is buried. When Johnny feels there is nowhere to go, he heads to Copp's Hill, falls before his mother's grave, and cries himself to sleep before deciding to take his chances with Merchant Lyte.

Stamp Act: A law from the King of England, the Stamp Act is a tax on the colonies for mail. As protest, many merchants agrees not to trade with the British until the unpopular Stamp Act is repealed, but some, like Merchant Lyte, make money by trading secretly.

Whigs: A political party in favor of American independence, Whigs are usually anti-British and are willing to fight if they have to. Most of the key figures of pre-revolutionary Boston are Whigs.

Tories: A political party in favor of maintaining close relations with the British, Tories are usually conservative. Mr. Lapham and Merchant Lyte are Tories.

Sons of Liberty: A semi-secret society acting against British rule, the Sons of Liberty have a reputation for wreaking havoc against Tories and all things pro-British.

Goblin: The horse Johnny uses to deliver the Boston Observer, Goblin is fast and of great physical prowess, but is difficult to ride because it scares easily. Because of Goblin, Johnny becomes friends with Lieutenant Stranger, who offers to teach Johnny how to jump horses.

Boston Observers: A secret group of the most powerful Whigs in Boston, including John Hancock, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and James Otis, the Boston Observers meet in the attic of the Boston Observer office to discuss political strategy. Rab and Johnny are required to provide punch for these meetings.

Lexington: The town where Rab and the Silsbee are from, Lexington becomes the first place where British troops clash with the Minute Men. The first casualties occur at the Battle of Lexington.

Old South Church: The church where colonists gather to hear Sam Adams speak before the Tea Party raid, the Old South Church is also where the lanterns indicating whether British troops will be marching by land or by sea are hung.

Tea Party: The name given to the raid on the three ships carrying tea, the (Boston) Tea Party is historically known as one of the most important symbolic gestures of American protest against England.

Port Act: After the Tea Party, the Port Act is issued by King George, essentially closing down the port so that the colonists in Boston will surrender to his rule. The Port Act unites the mostly separated colony-states.

Minute Men: Regular farmers and townspeople, the Minute Men are makeshift soldiers dedicated to defending their land and America's freedom.

Yankee Doodle: A tune used by the British to make fun of the American colonists, Yankee Doodle becomes a rallying cry against the British.

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