Boston Tea Party



Background Notes

During the night of December 16, 1773, a group of Boston citizens, protesting the Tea Act (1773) and disguised as Mohawk Indians, went to Griffin's Wharf and boarded the tea ship Dartmouth. Working throughout the night the disciplined group of about fifty men dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor. [1]

This act of defiance known as the Boston Tea Party would prove disastrous to the port of Boston. When news of this party reached England, an enraged Parliament, passed four Coercive Acts, referred to by the Colonists as "the Intolerable Acts," the first of which was the Boston Port Bill. This law closed the port of Boston until the town agreed to pay for the tea ruined during the Boston Tea Party. This action crippled the New England economy. [2]

This illustration comes from an early edition of The History of England by the Scottish philosopher and writer, David Hume (1711- 1776).


1. Morris, Richard B. Encyclopedia of American History (New York: Harper & Bros., 1953) 81.

2. Boyer, Paul S., et al, The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People (Lexington, MA: D.C.Heath, 1996) 155.

Transcription of Primary Source

Barlow's Continuation of Hume's England

Barlow. Vol.II p.41
The Bostonians throwing
The Tea into the water

Engraved for Jay Parsons, 21 Paternoster Row. August 15. 1795.

Curator Notes

Probable Date: 
August 15, 1795
Jay Parsons
12 x 7 cm.