Case Study



Boston Tea Party Historical Society

Nathaniel Bradlee

Nathaniel Bradlee was 27 years old at the time when he joined the patriots who destroyed British tea in Boston Harbor. He was born on Feb 16, 1745 and was a native of Dorchester, MA.

According to the list of participants published by Benjamin Thatcher in 1835 “Traints of the Tea Party” Mr. Bradlee was a member of the group of merchants and craftsmen called Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Many other participants also belonged to this group with Paul Revere being the most famous “mechanic”

According to an article in Appleseeds, a publication by Gail Hennessey referenced by Encyclopedia Britannica, Nathaniel Bradlee had a sister, Sarah Bradlee who has been called the "Mother of the Boston Tea Party". She was given this name for helping patriots to disguise themselves as Indians for the Tea Party when they gathered in her house before heading to the Griffin’s Wharf. The same source also mentions that patriots had meeting in her house on other occasions. Mrs. Bradlee is credited for being the one who came up with the idea for patriots dressing up as Mohawks. She was also one of the prominent members of a women-patriots organization called “The Daughters of Liberty”

Unfortunately not many reliable sources are available with Mr. Bradlee’s biographical information. A Wikipedia article mistakenly links Nathaniel Bradlee, the Boston Tea Party participant with Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee the renown Boston Architect who was born in 1829 and thus could not have participated in the protest which occurred in 1773.

Mr. Bradlee passed away on May 8, 1813 at the age of 68.

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