Beyond Boston: 9 tea parties you probably haven't heard about
Every schoolchild can tell you the story of the patriots dressed as Native Americans who sneaked aboard ships in Boston Harbor on Dec. 16, 1773, and tipped tea into the water (costing the East India Company more than a million dollars, incidentally) to protest tea taxes imposed by the British government. But how about the Wilmington tea party? You'd think one in New York would be famous, right? From Joseph Cummins' new book Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot, here are nine tea party protests you may not have heard about.
1. The Philadelphia Tea Party
The Philadelphia Tea Party took place in December 1773 (9 days after the Boston Tea Party) when a ship docked near Philadelphia with the largest shipment of tea the East India Company had ever sent to the American colonies. The ship's commander, Captain Ayres found a note pinned to his ship threatening him with tarring and feathering – "ten Gallons of liquid Tar decanted on your Pate" – if he didn't leave and take the tea back to England. Ayres met with one of the merchants and told him that he and the other merchants who had ordered the tea needed to officially register that they no longer wanted it and instead wanted it shipped back to England. As the men discussed the matter, 8,000 people gathered outside, waiting to hear what would happen. When Ayres announced that he was cooperating fully and would leave the next day with the tea, the crowd cheered.