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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 12/16/1773
1/4/2011 8:42:52 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


Sons of Liberty dump British Tea


A group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as "Mohawk Indians" board three British tea ships moored in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts and dump three hundred forty-two chests of tea into the water.

Now known as the "Boston Tea Party", the midnight raid was a protest of the "Tea Act of 1773", a bill enacted by the British parliament to save the faltering British 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 British East India Company to sell its tea even more cheaply than that smuggled into America by Dutch traders. Many colonists viewed the act s yet another example of Great Britain's taxation tryanny.

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. However, when the three tea ships:

The HMS Dartmouth
The HMS Eleanor
The HMS Beaver

arrived in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts and the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to Great Britain. Thomas Hutchinson, the British-appointed Governor of Massachusetts, refused to permit the ships to leave. Patriot leader and Sons of Liberty member Samuel Adams organized the now-famous "tea party" with about sixty members of the "Sons of Liberty".

The British tea dumped into Boston Harbor, Massachusetts on the night of December 16, 1773 was worth more than seven hundred thousand dollars in today's currency.

Parliament, outraged by the blatant destruction of British property, enacted the famed "Coercive Acts", call the "Intolerable Acts" by the colonists in 1774.

The "Coercive Acts"

*Closed Boston Harbor, Massachusetts 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.


(K) (HST)



Thomas Hutchinson Royal Governor, Massachusetts
Samuel Adams American Patriot


Comments (1)

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