A pivotal moment then. A pivotal moment now.
If a news story from 250 years ago was written today:
Vandals Dump Tea into Boston Harbor
Adams Describes Protest as an “Epocha!”
BOSTON/ Friday, December 17, 1773
Boston Harbor is full of tea. About 9 pm Thursday night, dozens of men boarded three ships anchored at Griffin’s Wharf and tossed 342 cases of tea into Boston harbor as a large crowd watched. The men, disguised as Mohawk Indians were said to be protesting ongoing British attempts to monopolize the tea trade. The ruined tea is owned by the failing British owned East India Tea Company. Colonists have railed against British control for years, their sentiments being that the government does not represent them and that they have no ability to elect anyone who does.
The protest received mixed reviews by notables. Sons of Liberty member (and future Founding Father) John Adams wrote:
“This is the most magnificent Movement of all.
There is a Dignity, a Majesty, a Sublimity, in this last Effort of the Patriots, that I greatly admire. The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered – something notable And striking. This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important Consequences, and so lasting, that I cant but consider it as an Epocha in History.”
George Washington (future President of the United States) was said to have called it, “vandalism and wanton destruction of private property.”
Approximately 92,000 pounds of tea were destroyed. The British government has been attempting to save the East India Tea Company from bankruptcy deeming it “too big to fail.” They had ordered the tea price dramatically lowered to cut into profits made by colonial businessmen who buy tea from the
Dutch. This uprising by the colonists adds fuel to the fire of the growing conflict with the British Crown.
No one was hurt during the protest, no other property was damaged save one padlock and the participants reportedly swept clean the decks of ships before departing. One man was arrested.
A later news story might have included this additional information:
The British were outraged and responded to the colonists actions by punishing the residents of Boston with a series of Acts later called the “Intolerable Acts” which: closed Boston Harbor for a time, ended the Massachusetts Constitution, created martial law in Massachusetts and required colonists to quarter (house) British troops on demand in their homes or on their property. They also approved arrest warrants for some of the participants of the destruction of the tea including John Hancock,
Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren and Thomas Cushing but lacked the evidence to charge them.
Learn more here: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/boston-tea-party
We are now nearly 250 years later, and we still talk about The Boston Tea Party. Many Americans will celebrate its anniversary in just a few days. John Adams was right. It was an “Epocha” event. A point in time to be remembered. And learned from.
In following years, came the “shot heard around the world,” the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War and the United States Constitution with its Bill of Rights. All of these “Epocha” events exist as the foundation of what we know as the United States of America. But our history seems to be fading from view. Many schools barely teach American history or attach negative or anti-American sentiments to it. We live in a pivotal time.
Help us turn things back around. The 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is Saturday, December 16, 2023. A great time to do something for your country! For many months we have been encouraging patriotic Americans to read the founding documents. So simple and interesting. Booklets containing the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are easy to find and affordable! We encourage you to read them out loud in a group. So everyone reads a section. Buy extra books and pass them out to everyone you can. We have distributed thousands. Even radio talk show host, Mark Levin mentioned our efforts to do this just before the last July 4th holiday.
Ready to do your part?
- Plan your gathering, large or small.
- Order copies of the documents for everyone. Affordable pocket-sized constitutions: https://nccs.net/products/pocket-constitution-of-united-states
For larger-sized books try Amazon or Ebay. There are many books about our founding documents that have information that you might want to read out loud too.
- Before reading these documents out loud in front of a group, practice, practice, practice first! Some of the language is a bit different than we would use today. Parts of the Constitution are a bit dry and boring–read them anyway.
- Read ALL the footnotes in the Bill of Rights. They explain when amendments were ratified, superseded, or repealed.
- Read all the names of the signers of the Declaration. They were signing their death warrant if they failed.
- Take the time to learn the meaning behind the words. There are many, many good resources on both the Constitution and the Declaration. This one has short, clear explanations of the grievances in the Declaration: https://www.nps.gov/fost/blogs/the-declaration-of-independence-what-were-theythinking.htm
- Reading time for Declaration about 13 min 30 seconds when read straight through. For the Constitution and Bill of rights: about 65 minutes.
- Consider wearing period costumes to make it more festive.
Be a part of the history of America when Patriots brought their country back from the brink!!