Johnny, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught with Otis, Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the exciting operations and subterfuges leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. As Johnny is forced into the role of a full-grown man in the face of his new country's independence, he finds that his relations with those he loves changes for the better as well.
Johnny had been Mr. Lapham's star pupil, a clever, industrious apprentice silversmith. But when Johnny seriously burns his hand in a furnace, he finds himself crippled and with no means of taking care of himself. Soon, trouble reaches Johnny's life in a new way. Swept along in the tide of events leading to the Boston Tea Party and the first skirmishes of Lexington and Concord, Johnny finds a job as message-carrier for the Sons of Liberty. As young and old men alike make sacrifices for a new country, Johnny prepares to take his own stand in the cause for freedom.