Case Study



Boston Tea Party Historical Society

Account by Joshua Wyeth

The first published account of the Boston Tea Party by a participant was recorded from the words of Joshua Wyeth. He was just sixteen when he joined other patriots in boarding the tea ships in Boston Harbor. Mr. Wyeth told his story to a journalist in Cincinnati where he lived during his later years. The account was published in 1826, 53 years after the event has occurred.

I had but a few hours warning of what was intended to be done… To prevent discovery we agreed to wear ragged clothes and disfigure ourselves, dressing to resemble Indians… Our most intimate friends among the spectators had not the least knowledge of us… At the appointed hour, we met in an old building at… the wharf, and fell in one after another, as if by accident, as not to excite suspicion. We placed a sentry at the end of the wharf, another in the middle, and one on the bow of each ship as we took possession. We boarded the ship moored by the wharf, and ordered the captain and crew to open the hatchways, and hand us the hoisting tackle and rope, assuring them that no harm was intended them. Some of our numbers then jumped into the hold, and passed the chests to the tackle. As they were hauled on deck others knocked them open with axes, and others raised them to the railings and discharged their contents overboard. All who were not needed on this ship went on board the others where the same ceremonies were repeated. We were merry, in an undertone, at the idea of making so large a cup of tea for the fishes but we used not more words than absolutely necessary. I never worked harder in my life. While we were unloading, the people collected in great numbers about the wharf to see what was going on. They crowded around us. Our sentries were not armed, and could not stop any who insisted on passing.



Numbers and Facts


Student Essays

The Location

The Ships

Origin of the Tea


Printable Poster

Samuel Adams Biography

Picture Galleries


Top 10 preceding historic events

Triangular trade in the colonies

Tea Party reenactment script

The Tea Act of 1773

Debate Arguments for the British

The Actual Tea Chest

The Ballad

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