“We were merry, in an undertone, at the idea of making so large a cup of tea for the fishes.”

–Joshua Wyeth – 1826

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, on December 16, 1773. It was a part of a series of protests held across America against the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the tax on tea because they had no representation in parliament. In every colony except Massachusetts, protesters were able to force the tea consignees to resign or to return when ships with tea arrived from England.

In Boston, when the tea ship arrived, the Governor refused to let it return before duty had been paid. In the meanwhile, Samuel Adams called a mass meeting of the public and passed a resolution demanding captain of the Dartmouth to send the ship back, despite the Governor’s refusal. Before the meeting had ended, a group of 30 – 130 people emptied 342 chests of tea from three ships into the sea. The British government responded harshly and the episode escalated into the American Revolution. Many Americans considered tea drinking to be unpatriotic following the Boston Tea Party, resulting in a shift to coffee as the preferred hot drink.