"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

A Massacre and Tea Party in Boston

photo of exhibit section
At the left of this photo:
NARRATIVES of the "horrid massacre" printed by order of the town of Boston, 1770; and PRINTED ORATIONS commemorating the anniversary of the Boston Massacre, one presented by John Hancock, authored by Samuel Adams and others, March 5, 1774, and another printed in 1781
  On loan from the collection of:
  --University of Iowa Main Library, Special Collections, Iowa City IA
  --The American Antiquarian Society, Worcester MA
    --Robert G. Oswald
ORIGINAL BULLETS fired by the British during the Boston Massacre
    --Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA
ENGRAVING (reproduction) depicts a "Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street" by Paul Revere
At the right of this photo:
ORIGINAL TEA LEAVES, steeped in Boston Harbor after the Tea Party
    --Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA
ENGRAVINGS and ARTWORK (reproductions) depict the Boston Tea Party, and British troops closing Boston Harbor in punishment for the Tea Party


On March 5, 1770, a riot between 400 Boston citizens and six British soldiers left three Americans dead and fatally wounded two more. Before the troops opened fire on the mob, however, they had been pelted with ice chunks and snowballs imbedded with rocks. Called the "Boston Massacre," the Redcoats were tried for murder but convicted only of lesser crimes, thanks to defense attorney John Adams who convinced the court that the troops acted in self-defense.


In 1773, colonial merchants loyal to England were granted exclusive rights to sell tea at bargain prices. Angry Patriots called Sons of Liberty loosely disguised themselves as Mohawks, boarded the cargo ships on December 16th, and shoveled all the tea (worth $90,000) into the waters of Boston Harbor. King George was furious! He sent the Royal Navy to close the harbor but the other colonies rallied behind the Boston rebels.


Territory and Taxes
  Tax Stamp
A Massacre and Tea Party in Boston (You are here)
  Bullets Fired During the Boston Massacre
  Original Tea Leaves From the Boston Tea Party
Early Troublemakers
  Broadside, Silver Urn and "Poor Richard's Almanac"


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