Land of the Brave

Boston Tea Party Facts

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

60 Facts about the Boston Tea Party Facts
The following Boston Tea Party Facts provide interesting facts and an overview and description of the events surrounding the incident that followed the Boston Massacre which occurred on March 5, 1770 - for more info refer to .

Fact 1: The Boston Tea Party took place on Thursday December 16, 1773

Fact 2: The Boston Tea Party followed another pre-revolutionary incident called the Boston Massacre that occurred on March 5, 1770

Fact 3: In 1768, colonists consumed almost two million pounds of tea - The 3 million inhabitants of the American colonies were consuming an average of 2-3 cups every day

Fact 4: 90% of the tea drunk in the colonies was smuggled in. The American tradition of drinking coffee increased as British tea was subject to boycotts

Fact 5: The Boston Tea Party was a direct protest by colonists, members of the the Sons of Liberty, against the Tea Tax that had been imposed by the British government.

Fact 6: The new import tax on tea of 3 pence was considerably less than the previous one in which 12 pence (1 shilling) per pound on tea sent via Britain. The American colonists would therefore get their tea cheaper than the people of Britain

Fact 7: Rebellion against the tea tax was not a result of a raise in the tax, the tax was actually lowered - the protests were because there were no colonists in the English parliament which led to the cry of "No taxation without representation!" in the American colonies.

Fact 8: The Tea tax protests resulted in the smuggling of cheaper, non-British tea and boycotts of British tea through Nonimportation Agreements.

Fact 9: Tea was to be marketed in America by special consignees (receivers of shipments) who were to be selected by the East India Company

Fact 10: Only ships owned by the East India Company could carry tea

Fact 11: The three ships bound for Boston harbor carried 342 chests, the majority of which was Bohea Tea, which was produced in China, not India.

Fact 12: The Dartmouth ship, under Captain Hall, carried 114 chests of tea and arrived in Boston Harbor on Sunday, November 28th

Fact 13: The Eleanor ship, under Captain Coffin, carried 114 chests of tea and arrived in Boston Harbor on Thursday, December 2nd

Fact 14: The Beaver ship, under Captain Bruce, carried 114 chests of tea, docked in Boston Harbor Wednesday, December 15th. The Beaver was delayed due to a case of smallpox which broke out onboard, and she was held in quarantine for two weeks in the outer harbor of Boston.

Fact 15: There were to be 4 ships, but the William ran aground off Cape Cod on December 10, 1773, in a terrible storm.

Fact 16: The Tea Act text states "to increase the deposit on bohea tea to be sold at the India Company's sales". Bohea Tea (pronounced boo-hee) was therefore a black tea from China

Fact 17: The word Bohea was commonly used as the slang term for tea

Fact 18: The 342 chests, that were destroyed at the Boston Tea Party, consisted of several different types of the commodity - the differences arose from the mode of preparation:
240 chests of Bohea (black) - the cheapest type
15 chests of Congou - a superior type of black Bohea tea
10 chests of Souchong (a superior black)
60 chests of of Singlo (green tea, more expensive than black)
17 chests of Hyson (the most desirable green tea)

Fact 19: The 342 chests were equivalent to more than 46 tons of tea leaves which would have made nearly 19 million cups of tea!

Fact 20: The tea plant was at one time introduced into South Carolina, but with little success

Fact 21: Under pressure from the Sons of Liberty patriot groups, the consignees in Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia refused to accept the shipments and allowed the tea to be returned. But the consignees in Boston did not agree.

Fact 22: The chosen consignees in Boston were two sons of the Governor, Thomas Hutchinson and his nephew, Richard Clarke.

Fact 23: The three shiploads of cargo belonging to the East India Company were left sitting at Griffin’s Wharf, a few blocks away from the Old South Meeting House

Fact 24: Each of the three ships were about 80 feet long

Fact 25: Each ship had a crew of 8-12 men, who, aside from the captain, slept in the cargo hold.

Fact 26: Tax Deadline: The tax, or duty, had to be paid the moment the tea was unloaded - the absolute deadline for payment of the tax was 20 days after the arrival of the consignment. If the tax was not paid within the 20 days the cargo would be seized by authorities.

Fact 27: On November 5, 1773, Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated as Pope’s Day in colonial Boston, Samuel Adams called a town meeting at Faneuil Hall in response to the “tea crisis” and declared anyone who aids or abets the “unloading receiving or vending the tea is an enemy to America!”

Fact 28: An armed guard of patriots was posted at the wharf to prevent the cargo coming ashore

Fact 29: Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere, and leaders of the Boston Sons of Liberty organized a meeting on November 29, 1773, the day after the Dartmouth arrived, at Faneuil Hall to discuss the situation. So many people showed up, that the meeting had to be moved to the Old South Meeting House to accommodate the thousands of Boston citizens.

Fact 30: The Bostonians decided to demand that the tea be sent back to England with the tax unpaid. The attendees told Francis Rotch, the owner of the Dartmouth, to ask Governor Hutchinson for permission to sail out of Boston and back to England.

Fact 31: The patriots then tried to persuade the consignees and then Governor Thomas Hutchinson to send the cargo back to England with the tax unpaid

Fact 32: Neighboring towns communicated messages of support. Signs were posted all over the city of Boston announcing the next meetings.

Fact 33: On December 16, 1773 another large meeting at the Old South Church in Boston was told of the final refusal to their demands by Governor Thomas Hutchinson.

Fact 34: The Boston patriots agreed that their only course of action was to destroy the cargo

Fact 35: The shop, of John Cane was used by patriots as a gathering place before heading to the ships at Griffins’ wharf. It was here that that many adopted their disguises.

Fact 36: Why Indian Disguise? Destroying the tea was an act of treason, punishable by death so many of the Boston patriots, including Paul Revere, disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians to hide their identity. They carried hatchets, or tomahawks, which they used to break open the crates

Fact 37: One of the participants, Nathaniel Bradlee, had a sister, Sarah Bradlee who is credited for being the one who came up with the idea for patriots dressing up as Mohawks. Sarah Bradlee has been called the "Mother of the Boston Tea Party" for helping the patriots to disguise themselves as Indians. Sarah Bradlee was a prominent member of the Boston Daughters of Liberty.

Fact 38: There are 180 known names of men who participated in dumping the cargo of the three ships.

Fact 39: The patriots organized themselves into 3 groups to board the three different ships. Each group had a leader.

Fact 40: The leaders of each group requested that the Captains unlocked the hatches to the cargo decks and the crates were hoisted on to the main deck.

Fact 41: The crates were smashed open with the tomahawks and thrown into the water.

Fact 42: A large mob attended the Boston Party and there was little interference and no violence occurred.

Fact 43: The Captains and crews of the ships generally stood by impassively, and the surrounding British warships did not fire their weapons.

Fact 44: The patriots, including Paul Revere, took 3 hours between 7 and 10 PM to dump the cargo

Fact 45: Two-thirds of the participants whose ages were known were under 20, including 16 teenagers. Only nine are known to have been 40 years old or older.

Fact 46: About one-third of the participants were skilled artisans such as carpenters, masons and shoemakers.

Fact 47: There were a small number of merchants, doctors and clerks but the majority of participants were apprentices, laborers and seamen.

Fact 48: Over 45 tons of cargo went into the water that night.

Fact 49: The only casualty during the incident happened to John Crane who was knocked unconscious by a falling crate. He was carried to the docks by his comrades and put on a bed of wood shavings

Fact 50: The participants did not vandalize the ships, or steal any of the cargo for personal consumption.

Fact 51: The crews of the ships later confirmed that nothing had been damaged or destroyed except the tea and that the protesters had swept the decks clean afterwards

Fact 52: The next day some of the protestors returned to Griffin's Wharf and, seeing some of the cargo still floating on top of the water, they approached it in small boats and destroyed what remained by hitting it with their oars.

Fact 53: Sam Adams defended the actions of the Boston Party stating that it “was not the act of a lawless mob, but a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their Constitutional rights.”

Fact 54: King George III stated that, “The die is now cast. The colonies must either submit or triumph.”

Fact 55: There were many Americans who were not in favor of the unlawful actions taken in Boston by destroying private property. Benjamin Franklin stated that the destroyed tea must be repaid

Fact 56: Robert Murray, a New York financier, three merchants approached Lord North the British Prime Minister offering to pay for the losses, but the offer was turned down.

Fact 57: The British Parliament ordered the Royal Navy to blockade Boston Harbor. The blockade prevented supplies from entering the Harbor and prevented Massachusetts merchants from selling their goods.

Fact 58: Origin of the name: The term 'Boston Tea Party' did not appear in print until 1834 before that time the incident was referred to as the “destruction of the tea”.

Fact 59: The East India Company reported losses of £9,659 after the Boston Tea Party - worth over $1 Million in today's money.

Fact 60: As a result of the Boston Tea Party Britain passed the Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) to punish Boston for its rebellious actions. These laws ultimately led to the American Revolutionary War

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