Boston Tea Party (December 16, 177), an incident in which American patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians threw 342 boxes of tea belonging to the British East India Company from ships into Boston Harbor. Boston merchants evaded the act by continuing to receive smuggled tea by Dutch merchants. On Sunday, November 28, the Dartmouth, which carries 114 boxes of tea, arrives at Boston Harbor. A meeting, open to all Bostonians and anyone from neighboring cities who choose to attend (a group identified as the Corps), is convened at Faneuil Hall.
When the crowd swells up, it is transferred to Old South Meeting House. The Corps speaks, demanding that tea be returned, and the assembly appoints a 25-man guard to protect Griffin's Wharf. The release of a meeting document called Philadelphia Resolutions triggered public protests in Boston and Philadelphia. A historical marker commemorating the Boston Tea Party is located on the corner of Congress and Purchase Streets.
In New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, protesters managed to get the tea recipients to resign. In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts settlers disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 boxes of tea into the harbor. After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the “tea party” with some 60 members of the Children of Freedom, his underground resistance group. Pouring it into Boston Harbor was rather a direct middle finger for the EIC, which benefited from stealing its black market tea trade, and a kind of secondary insult to King George, who actually made the tax change.
In 1767, to help the East India Company compete with smuggled Dutch tea, Parliament passed the Compensation Act, which reduced the tax on tea consumed in Britain and gave the East India Company a 25% refund of the tariff on tea that was re-exported to the colonies. However, British tea with rights continued to be imported into Boston, especially by Richard Clarke and the sons of Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson, until pressure from Massachusetts Whigs forced them to abide by the no-import agreement. Contrary to popular belief, the British East India Company tea that Beaver, Dartmouth and Eleanor transported to Boston was not from India. By voting at a December 16 meeting in Old South, the Agency decides to prevent East Indian tea from being landed, stored, sold or consumed.
Led by Adams, the Children of Freedom held meetings against the British Parliament and protested the arrival at Griffin's Wharf of Dartmouth, a ship of the British East India Company carrying tea. There were to be four ships sailing from London carrying loads of British East India Company tea to Boston, but William ran aground off Cape Cod on 10 December 1773 in a violent storm. Thanks to his Native American costumes, only one of the culprits of the tea party, Francis Akeley, was arrested and jailed. For weeks after the Boston Tea Party, the 92,000 pounds of tea poured into the harbor made it smell bad.
At the time of the Boston Tea Party, it is estimated that American settlers drank approximately 1.2 million pounds of tea each year. The ships' crews attested to the fact that there had been no damage to any of the ships, except for the destruction of their tea shipments.