Boston Tea Party, 1773. In the contest between British Parliament and the American colonists before the Revolution, Parliament, when repealing the Townshend Acts, had retained the tea tax, partly as a symbol of its right to tax the colonies, partly to aid the financially embarrassed East India Company. The colonists tried to prevent the consignees from accepting taxed tea and were successful in New York and Philadelphia. At Charleston the tea was landed but was held in government warehouses. At Boston, three tea ships arrived and remained unloaded but Gov. Thomas Hutchinson refused to let the ships leave without first paying the duties. A group of indignant colonists, led by Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and others, disguised themselves as Native Americans, boarded the ships on the night of Dec. 16, 1773, and threw the tea into the harbor. In reply Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill (see Intolerable Acts).
See studies by B. W. Labaree (1964) and B. L. Carp (2010).
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