The Boston Tea Party Experience

Before Christmas my family took a short trip to Boston where it is very cold in the winter. Very cold.

Almost as cold as the heart of King George when he raised the taxes on the tea being sent to America (fie! boo!). How’s that for a segue? While in Boston, we went to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum aka the place where you get to reenact the Boston Tea Party and throw fake tea in the harbor.

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We started out in sitting in pews where we each received a rebellious persona. I was Obadiah Curtis. He lived into his 80s and kept some of the tea he threw overboard as a souvenir which he then turned into a tea bag. I couldn’t find anything on if he actually drank the tea or just sat around staring at it and being pleased with himself for stealing tea when he wasn’t supposed to.

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Reenactors set the scene by explaining why we (the colonists) are angry about the tea tax and what we plan to do about it (throw it in the harbor). They also gave each of us a feather to wear because obviously you need to be in disguise if you’re going to be a rebel (they dressed up as Mohawks in real life). The reenactors did a nice job of engaging and giving us the historical context for the Boston Tea Party without it turning into a lecture or running too long.

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Then we all went out to the ship. They have two restored ships – the Eleanor and the Beaver, and I believe we were on the Eleanor. After a brief tour, we got to the part we had all been waiting for: reenacting the the colonists throwing tea into the harbor.

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Not pictured: me pulling the “box of tea” back onto the ship.

After everyone had had the chance to throw tea in the harbor, we were led into the museum portion. Pictures weren’t allowed, but we got to see a 3D reenactment, one of the only two surviving tea chests from the Boston Tea Party, and then a short movie about the start of the American Revolution. My favorite part was when a couple of the portraits in the tea box room came to life and started having a conversation about rebellion in the American colonies. It was a fun use of technology.

We had worked up an appetite thanks to the hard work of the throwing tea into the harbor, so we stopped at Abigail’s Tea Room and Terrance for lunch. My family all got clam chowder and I got the mac and cheese. While we ate we talked to a reenactor about her costume and the clothing the colonists would have worn in winter. And then I burned my mouth on my hot chocolate because no matter how long you wait, hot chocolate is always slightly too hot.

IMG_5049We missed the 243rd anniversary of the Tea Party by 2 days. 243rd! I like to think the Sons of Liberty would be pretty pleased with how far we’ve come. At least they would be until they hit November 8, 2016 and then they would probably want to throw more tea in the harbor but there you go.

Stay magical readers!