Written by Alleah

Modified & Updated: 10 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Boston Tea Party Facts

American history is rich with events that made the country what it is today. Most of the political protests and happenings took place years back, but it’s still worth discussing in this day and age. The tea party in Boston is no exception as there is more to it than what its name implies. Let’s go ahead and look back on the events of the 1773 protest with these Boston Tea Party facts.



  1. The famous Boston Tea Party took place at Boston’s Griffin’s Wharf on December 16, 1773.
  2. There was only one “tea partier” that got harmed during the Boston Tea Party. 
  3. The 3 ships involved in the Boston Tea Party included Eleanor, Dartmouth, and Beaver. 
  4. Eleanor, Dartmouth, and Beaver carried a total of 342 chests of Tea. 
  5. Dartmouth contained 114 tea chests.
  1. American Colonists pushed the Boston Tea Party as they consume at least 2-3 cups of tea every day. 
  2. The Boston Tea Party occurred a few years after the March 1770 Boston Massacre.
  3. The Sons of Liberty in Boston initiated the Boston Tea Party as a political protest. 
  4. All the tea chests that were in the ships of those involved in the Boston Tea Party were dumped and destroyed in the Boston Harbor. 
  5. The ships carried different kinds of tea, including 32 chests of superior cheap black tea, 240 chests of cheap black tea, 60 green tea chests, and 10 chests of superior black tea. 
  6. The East India Trading Company chose the tea shipments for the dealers to market and sell in America. 
  7. The tea products from the East India Trading Company came from China. 
  8. Almost 90% of all teas available in the colonies were smuggled. 
  9. Captain Bruce headed the Dartmouth ship. 
  10. The protest was not called the Boston Tea Party until the year 1834.
  1. There was supposed to be a fourth ship called William, but it never arrived in the Boston Harbor due to a storm. 
  2. In total, the amount of tea carried by the ships could have made at least 19 million cups of tea.
  3. Protesters in the Boston Tea Party tossed over 92,000 pounds of tea.
  4. Because of pressure from the patriot groups, consignees in New York and Charleston refused to accept the ship’s deliveries and shipments. 
  5. Each of the ships in the Boston Tea Party was 80 feet long and had 8-12 crews in it.
Table of Contents

The Boston Tea Party was a unique political protest. 

On December 16, 1773, American colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians held a political movement in Boston’s Griffin’s Wharf. In protest of the British East India Company’s monopoly and heavy tax on tea, the colonists threw out 342 chests of tea into the sea.

The Congress Street Bridge houses the Boston Tea Party Museum. 

Since the Boston Tea Party was a memorable event, a floating museum was made to commemorate it. For tickets ranging from $21- $30, you’d get to experience exquisite historical details of the event, interactive exhibits, live reenactments, and access to a tearoom. You can also re-enact and throw some tea in the harbor. Truly, one of the most amazing Boston Tea Party facts.

The Boston Tea Party sparked protests from other colonies in 1774. 

Because of the influence of the event in the Boston Harbor, protests scattered across many colonies including Annapolis, Charleston, New York, and California. Many patriots burned and dumped tea from ships as a sign of protest. By this point, tea agents canceled orders, resigned, and even refused consignments altogether.

Armed patriots manned the wharf to stop cargo from reaching the shore.  

As part of the movement, the patriots stationed men at docking ports to keep cargo from reaching American shores. However, Boston’s royal governor Thomas Hutchinson was determined to maintain and uphold the deposit of cargo from the three ships. This event paved the way to the historic dumping of tea in the water. 

Several books were published based on the events of the Boston Tea Party.

In the year 1830, Traits of the Tea Party and A Retrospect of the Tea-Party were published and popularized. The event then became cemented for many centuries and became a big part of popular culture. Talk about interesting Boston Tea Party facts. Grab a copy for yourself and relive the historic event here

Colonists viewed tea trade as a taxation tyranny.

The Boston Tea Party mainly opposed the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773. The bill was designed to lower the tea tax and granted a virtual monopoly of tea trade to the East India Company. In time, the American colonists viewed this mandate as a tax tyranny, which caused the eventual midnight raid.

Participants in the Boston Tea Party were skilled artisans.

When the governor at that time refused to support the protest, patriot leader Samuel Adams formed an underground resistance group called The Sons of Liberty. At least one-third of its members were masons, shoemakers, and carpenters.

Most of the Boston Tea Party members remained anonymous.

According to reports, hundreds of protesters took part in the tea party. However, due to the fear of being punished, many of the participants decided to remain anonymous. To this date, only 116 members have been documented.

protest, boston tea party facts
Source: Unsplash

The Boston Tea Party was a major loss for the tea company.

Right after the midnight raid in 1773, East India Company suffered a recorded loss of £9,659 after the protest.

Punitive laws were passed after the Boston Tea Party.

After the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts in 1774. These laws meant to punish the colonists for their defiance and open resistance against the laws set by the British Government.

Participants of the Boston Tea Party were dressed as Mohawk Indians.

One of the least known Boston Tea Party facts is that demonstrators wore Native American clothing for the protest. This choice of wardrobe was believed to be symbolic in nature.

Aside from the obvious fact that they didn’t want to be recognized, their indigenous clothing announced to the world that they were no longer British subjects, but true-blooded Americans.

The Boston Port closed after the Boston Tea Party.

As a result of the demonstration, the British Parliament passed a law called the Boston Port Act. This law closed down the port and required Boston residents to pay at least $1 million worth of today’s money for the wasted tea.

It was not called the Boston Tea Party for years.

Before it got coined as the Boston Tea Party of 1773, people simply referred to the event as “The Destruction of Tea”. It was only after the protest got covered on paper that it took on the name Boston Tea Party.

The Boston Tea Party was one of the main triggers for the American Revolution.

One of the least known Boston Tea Party facts is how it helped start the American Revolution. When the British Government passed the Coercive Acts or the Intolerable Acts of 1774, the colonists showed further defiance, which led to more protests and a bigger revolution.

Three major events led to the Boston Tea Party protest.

Contrary to popular belief that it was only because of the hike and monopoly of tea products, this wasn’t the only mandate that caused the protest. Other British mandates like the Sugar Act, Townshend Acts also served as major causes for the protests to eventually come into picture.

Boston Tea Party protesters were not troublemakers.

Most of the people who protested the Tea Act were artists and professionals willing to do crude things for equality and freedom. Truly, this is one of the most inspiring Boston Tea Party facts.

The Boston Tea Party was a party of men.  

Although you’d associate parties with cakes and balloons, the 1773 Boston Tea Party actually referred to a party of men.

The British East India Company was also a major cause of the Tea Party.  

The company had a personal royal charter which gave them the ability to fight wards. In the year 1757, they monopolized the Bengal region by imposing exorbitant taxes. Because of this, Bengal experienced severe famine that claimed 2-3 million people’s lives. American colonies were concerned that they would be next to suffer, which is why the Boston Tea Party was pushed.

east india company, boston tea party facts
Photo in Public Domain

The date of the Boston Tea Party did not have any significance.

The Boston Tea Party’s date did not have any particular significance. Instead, the demonstration happened out of timing. The Bostonians played a waiting game until the perfect timing arrived.

The Boston Tea Party did not cause other damages.

Apart from the tea chests thrown into the sea, the protest did not cause any other damage. The only thing recorded was a broken padlock which was immediately replaced. Talk about amazing Boston Tea Party facts.

It was once believed that the tea from the Boston Tea Party was in the form of bricks.  

Contrary to the lore passed on from Bostonian gift shops, there is no actual evidence that the tea from the ships came in bricks. One of the participants claimed that some of the protesters tried to steal tea which became scattered. This just goes to show that the tea did not come in blocks or bricks.

The Boston Tea Party was the culmination of what the Bostonian's did.  

According to the Journal of American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party was the final act of the series of threats that were carried out in Boston. Prior to the protest, Bostonians already intimidated customs and importer offers by throwing rocks and threatening tea consignees. The Boston Tea Party simply became the culmination of all of it. Definitely one of the Boston Tea Party facts worth looking back to.

Not all Americans approved of the Boston Tea Party.

Many Americans were shocked by the actions that transpired in Boston. Former presidents George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were one of the many who wrote letters to apologize and make amends for what happened.

The Coercive Acts after the Boston Tea Party laid the groundwork for revolution.

Right after the protest in the harbor, Britain punished the residents of Boston through the Coercive Acts which closed the ports and made the Bostonians pay for the teas that were thrown. Because of this, public opinion grew and paved way for the rise of the revolution.

The Boston Tea Party was the most famous among all tea parties.

The Tea Party in Boston was not the only “tea party” in history. Many protests like the Montana Tea Party in 1976 and the T.E.A. Party or Taxpayers’ Economic Association Party in 1953 also occurred. However, the 1773 Boston Tea Party remains the most known to this day.

boston tea party facts
Photo in Public Domain in the US

Boston Harbor did not taste like tea after the Tea Party.

Many stories have circulated claiming that the Boston Harbor tasted like tea after the protest, but this was actually not the case. Although 342 chests of tea were thrown into the sea, this small amount was certainly not enough to make the whole harbor tea-flavored. Now that’s one for commonly mistaken Boston Tea Party facts.

There was no known cause of pollution after the Boston Tea Party.

While it’s true that American colonists destroyed at least 92,000 pounds of tea varieties, there were no reported repercussions of pollution in the harbor after the protest happened.

The Boston Tea Party did not cause any casualties. 

Unlike other revolutions and protests, the tea party in Boston did not cause any deaths. This bloodless protest held no known confrontation nor violence between the British soldiers and the patriots.

Some viewed the Boston Tea Party as an act of vandalism.

Although the Sons of Liberty advocated for freedom, many Bostonian and Americans did not share the same sentiment. Some believed that the protest was selfish, which somewhat rang true when people who did not participate had to pay the fine issued by the British government.

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