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Boston Tea Party (Part 1 of 3)

Four States News - Essays & Opinions

In a letter to Arthur Lee, Samuel Adams writes an account of the Boston Tea Party. “… I am now to inform you of as remarkable an event as has yet happened since the commencement of our struggle for American liberty… the ship Falmouth… [arrived] with 114 chests of the East India Company’s tea, on the 28th of November last. The next day the people met in Faneuil hall, without observing the rules prescribed by law for calling them together… they were soon obliged for the want of room to adjourn to the Old South meeting-house… The business of the meeting was conducted with decency, unanimity, and spirit…

“The next day [in these events], being the 14th [December], the people met again at the Old South church, and having ascertained the owner, they compelled him to apply at the custom house for a clearance for his ship to London with the tea on board… after which they adjourned till Thursday the 16th. The people then met, and Mr. Rotch informed them that he had according to their injunction applied to the collector of the customs for a clearance, and received in answer from the collector that he could not consistently with his duty grant him a clearance…

“The people then required Mr. Rotch to protest the refusal of the collector to grant him a clearance under these circumstances, and thereupon to wait upon the governor for a permit to pass the castle in her voyage to London, and then adjourned till the afternoon. They then met, and after waiting till sun-setting, Mr. Rotch returned, and acquainted them that the governor had refused to grant him a passport…

“The people finding all their endeavors for this purpose thus totally frustrated, dissolved the meeting, which had consisted by common estimation of at least seven thousand men… In less than four hours every chest of tea on board three ships which had by this time arrived, three hundred and forty-two chests, or rather the contents of them, was thrown into the sea, without the least injury to the vessels or any other property…” Samuel Adams, Letter to Arthur Lee, December 31, 1773

James Still
“You cannot imagine the height of joy that sparkles in the eyes and animates the countenances as well as the hearts of all we meet on this occasion…”
Samuel Adams, Letter to Arthur Lee, December 31, 1773 Continue Reading →

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