America, Countries

Boston Tepee Party

If you’re going to throw the King’s best tea into the harbour you’d better disguise yourself which is why this act of sabotage was more like a Boston Tepee Party.

The patriots who hurled the crates of best leaf into the New England bay were we know now patriots.

But to the 55-strong British Crown crew on the three boats they looked like Indians.

The parties who file through the Boston Tea Party Museum would, of course, be strange to an 18th-century Bostonian.

But such is the attention to detail of the museum that our guides look, and sound, as if they’ve walked off the pages of history.

Oyez, oyez

We assemble, or are called oh-ye, oh-ye style, to a gathering in the Meeting House to discuss the tea tax imposed on Bostonians.

Historians, of which I am one, will recognise the speaker at the lectern as Samuel Adams.

While anybody who has spent any time in Boston will recognise him from his statue in the old town outside Faneuil Hall.

In the tap room and in his beer which you’ll see in our supermarkets now.

Say it again, Sam

Sink or swim: A conspirator

King George III would turn in his grave as he wanted to haul Sam’s treasonous hide over to England for his part in the destruction too.

He was after me too as it transpires… me a Scot Son of Liberty, James Swan, An insider in the tea industry.

Or at least it says so on the card, Mrs Storey, the feisty wife of a well-known physician, informs me.

She talks us through how we should respond to Sam’s oratory.

The usual cheering, stamping of feet and booing and hissing.

But also putting our thumbs to our noses and waving the other fingers at the object of our displeasure.

Fieing and blinding

While shouting Fie (pronounced fee).

All quite sedate and a much tamer f-word you might think but this could get you killed in 1774.

Liquored up though on rum punch shared in bowls down at the Green Dragon Tavern, near Quincy Market, the patriots are fired up.

Which might come as a surprise to a modern-day audience but Caribbean rum was popular then.

And the Crown had preceded the hated tea tax with a molasses tax, molasses being the sugar cane extract used for our fave drink.

The Boston Tea Party will give you a fuller, interactive and family-friendly reenactment of the Boston Tea Party.

All aboard

On the right side: With the rebels

You’ll board a boat, the Eleanor, and even get the chance to throw a crate over, though obviously it’s on a rope so won’t pollute the harbour.

While they also put on an entertaining film on Boston’s part in the Revolution.

And Adams and George III duke it out.

As they burst out of their framed pictures through that tech wizardry beloved of Harry Potter.

You’ll also get the chance to finish things off by sampling all five of the East Indian teas which were thrown into the harbour.

All without milk or sugar of course and all pretty insipid it must be said.

And which was another good reason to throw it into the water.

I’ll have a Sam

Taste of Boston: The five teas

Better head off to Samuel Adams’ Tap Room (he was a brewer).

Or of you have the good fortune to be staying at the Envoy Hotel just five minutes across the bridge.

As the last stop on your mini-New England tour sponsored by Aer Lingus and Amtrak.

You can retreat to your room and drink a can or two of his diverse range of craft beers.

Huzzah, as they say in these parts, at least in recreated 1774 Boston. For the Boston Tepee Party.


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