SONS OF LIBERTY THREW A "TEA PARTY" 240 YEARS AGO TODAY
342 chests of tea from 3 ships of the British East India Company docked in Boston Harbor were destroyed.
The action was carried out in protest of the British Tea Act of 1773 which gave a monopoly on the sale of tea imported to the American colonies to the British East India Company.
While the tea act effectively lowered the price of tea, it maintained the tax and forced the colonists, in buying the tea and paying the tax, to accept the principle of taxation by Parliament.
Because the colonists had no elected delegates to represent them in London, they argued that this was "taxation without representation."
Approximately 200 men were involved in the tea party, many of them dressed as Indians.
One of the men, identified as George Hewes, said:
"In about 3 hours from the time we went on board, we...had...thrown overboard every tea chest to be found."
"The Destruction of Tea
at Boston Harbor"
December 16, 1773
by Nathaniel Currier (1846)
The Boston Tea Party led to the passage of the Coercive Acts, known in the Colonies as the Intolerable Acts, which punished the city of Boston and the colony of Massachusetts for the deed.
Both the Tea Party and Coercive Acts were important causes leading to the outbreak of the American Revolution.