On this day in 1773, a large group of the Sons of Liberty, led by patriot Samuel Adams, board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. Of course, their nighttime raid became known as the “Boston Tea Party,” and was witnessed by thousands.
The Sons disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians to signal an end to their British subjection. The “Party” was, in fact, a protest of the Tea Act of 1773. This tyrannical Act of taxation was designed to allow the East India Company to undercut the rest of the tea market. Samuel Adams saw this British tea monopoly as identical to a tax, and ultimately, taxation without representation.
The ninety thousand pounds of dumped tea was worth more well over one million of today’s dollars.
It is especially noteworthy that no damage was done to any ships, nor were any crew members injured. In fact, the next day, the ‘partiers’ replaced the lone padlock they broke. Now that’s why the Boston Tea Party was a patriotic protest.
Wear Our Samuel Adams shirt to your next party, or your next protest, for that matter: