The Boston Tea Party

Author:   John Easson


A Bostonian named John Andrews (1764-1845) offered the following account of the Tea Party. “A general muster was assembled, from this and all ye neighbouring towns, to the number of five or six thousand, at 10 o’clock Thursday morning in the Old South Meeting house, where they pass’d a unanimous vote that the Tea should go out of the harbour that afternoon…. They muster’d, I’m told, upon Fort Hill, to the number of about two hundred, and proceeded, two by two, to Griffin’s wharf…and before nine o’clock in the evening, every chest from on board the three vessels was knock’d to pieces and flung over ye sides. They say the actors were Indians from Narragansett. Whether they were or not, to a transient observer they appear’d as such, being cloath’d in Blankets with the heads muffled, and copper color’d countenances, being each arm’d with a hatchet or axe, and pair of pistols, nor was their dialect different from what I conceive these geniuses to speak, as their jargon was unintelligible to all but themselves.”

In a letter to his father, a Boston merchant name John Easson also mentions the Boston Tea Party. The letter is written from the commonsense perspective of a man in commerce worried about losses from rowdy Bostonians.


…If you have any of your tea left, you must tak[e] good care of it for there will be Non[e] to be Gott[.] [H]ere about a fortnight ago there arrived from England 450 chests of tea[.] Last night the Sons of Liberty went and forced the Ships, brock all the Chests and Empt[i]ed all the tea into the Sea this I believe will be as bad as the Stamp Act.


Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute