Key plot points in "Johnny Tremain" include the silversmithing accident that causes Tremain's disfigurement, Jonathan Lyte's accusation that Tremain is a thief and Tremain's political transformation after finding employment with a Whig newspaper publisher. The plot of "Johnny Tremain" follows the main character as he transforms from a self-centered apprentice silversmith into an idealistic man focused on fighting for human rights.
Early in the story, Tremain accepts an order from John Hancock for a complex silver basin. During the casting process, another apprentice plays a practical joke that results in the disfigurement of Tremain's hand. The injury ends his career as a silversmith.
Tremain approaches the wealthy Lyte family, producing a silver cup engraved with the family's coat of arms as proof that he is related to them, but Jonathan Lyte accuses Tremain of stealing the cup. After his arrest, Tremain receives help from the Lorne family. Following his release, Tremain accepts a job with the Lorne's family newspaper and becomes increasingly involved in Whig politics.
Rab Lorne inspires Tremain to mature and become increasingly selfless. When Rab Lorne dies in the battle of Lexington, Tremain promises to continue to fight for the political ideals he learned from his time with the Lorne family. Tremain then learns that surgery can cure his disfigurement, giving him the ability to fire Lorne's musket.
"Johnny Tremain" is a children's historical novel written by Esther Forbes and published in 1943.