THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
SONS OF LIBERTY DUMP BRITISH TEA

   
   
DECEMBER 16TH, 1773
   

 



December 16, 1773: The Boston Tea Party -
Sons of Liberty dump British tea



On This Day...


December 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place and the Sons of Liberty dumped British tea into the harbor. In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

The midnight raid, popularly known as the "Boston Tea Party," was in protest of the British Parliament's Tea Act of 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny.

In most American ports, the resistance group known as the Sons of Liberty scared off British tea-carrying ships by threatening their captains with tarring, feathering or worse. When three tea ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor, the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to England. After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, Patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the "tea party" with about 60 members of the Sons of Liberty, his underground resistance group. The British tea dumped in Boston Harbor on the night of December 16 was valued at some $18,000 (more than $700,000 in today's currency).

Parliament, outraged by the blatant destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

 


 

     

     
     

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Web Page Created:

16 December 2008

   
   

Web Page Updated:

22 December 2010