| American History Stories, Volume II|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Tales of Revolutionary times, including the causes of the American Revolution, the daring exploits of those defending liberty, the early battles, the struggles of the army, and the heroes who led the colonists to victory. Ages 8-12 |
THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
HOUSE IN DANVERS WHERE "THE BOSTON
TEA PARTY" PLOT IS SAID TO HAVE BEEN TALKED OVER
HIS Boston tea-party was a very different sort of a party
from the quiet little tea-parties to which your mammas
like to go. There were no invitations sent out for
this tea-party, and the people who attended it behaved
in a very queer way, considering they were at a
This was the way it came about. The English had put a
tax, you will remember, upon nearly everything, tea
Now, when they found that the colonists were so furious
about it, and seemed so determined to stand up for
their rights, the English began to be afraid, and to
think that perhaps they had gone a little too far.
So, wishing to soothe the angry colonists, they took
off the tax on everything except the tea. "We
will keep the tax on that," said the English, "just to
let the colonists know that we have the power to
tax them, and that they must obey; but we will not ask
them to give us their money on the other things."
Foolish people, to suppose the colonists were going to
be quieted in that way. It wasn’t the money that they
were made to pay that had angered them; they were
willing to pay that; but it was the idea of
their being taxed without representation!
"Does England suppose it is the few paltry dollars that
we care for?" said they. "No; we will show her that,
 while we would be willing to pay thousands of dollars
if we were treated fairly, we will not pay one
cent when she treats us like slaves!"
Not many days had passed before word came that a great
vessel was nearing the harbor, loaded with tea.
A lively meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, and
afterwards in the Old South Church; and the people all
declared that the tea should never be allowed to be
At evening the vessel was seen slowly nearing the
wharf. Everything was quiet, and you would never have
imagined what was going to happen.
Slowly the ship comes in, nearer and nearer the little
wharf. Now, with a heavy swash of water and a boom,
she touches; out jump her sailors to fasten her ropes.
But hark! what noise is that? It is the Indian
war-whoop. And see! down rush the Indians themselves,
yelling and brandishing their tomahawks. In an
instant they have boarded the vessel. Down into the
hold they go, yelling and whooping at every step.
The terrified sailors stand back aghast. Out they come
again, lugging with them their heavy chests of tea.
Still they yell and whoop; and over go the chests into
the dark water below.
THROWING THE TEA OVERBOARD
And now, when every chest is gone, suddenly the Indians
grow very quiet; they come off from the deck; and,
orderly, take their stand upon the wharf; then do we
see that they
 were not Indians at all. They were only men of Boston
This then was the Boston tea-party, which took place in
Boston Harbor on the evening of December 16, 1773.
Three hundred and forty-two chests were thrown
On their way home the party passed the house at which
Admiral Montague was spending the evening. The officer
raised the window and cried out, "Well, boys, you’ve
had a fine night for your Indian caper. But, mind,
you’ve got to pay the fiddler yet." "Oh, never mind,"
replied one of the leaders, "never mind, squire! Just
come out here, if you please, and we’ll settle the bill
in two minutes." The admiral thought it best to let
the bill stand, and quickly shut the window.
The Americans had taken one great step towards liberty,
and the English had been taught a lesson of American
grit. It would have been well for England had she been
wise enough to heed it.
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