J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Tea Party Seeking Tea, of All Things

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum has started to publicize this year’s reenactment of Boston’s last meeting about the East India Company’s tea and the destruction of that cargo which followed.

That press release refers to the commemoration as “one of the largest moving historical reenactments in the U.S.” I think that refers to how the event starts at the Old South Meetinghouse and then goes through the nighttime streets to the waterfront for the second act. A logistical challenge for the organizers, to be sure.

This year the museum has a new feature:
NEW IN 2017: Inviting one and all to send loose tea to be thrown into Boston Harbor as part of this year's reenactment.

HOW TO SEND TEA:
Send dried loose leaf tea (NO used tea bags) to: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, ATTN: 'Toss That Tea', 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210. Include name, address, e-mail & phone number. An official certificate of participation will be sent to each partaker sending tea. Deadline to send tea: December 1, 2017.
London’s East India Company will provide over 220 pounds of “Expired Loose Tea” to be thrown into the harbor. The original event involved, as Charles Bahne documented here, 92,616 pounds of tea. So even if we’re looking at dumping only one ship’s worth, we’ve got a way to go before matching the original total.

That said, I have a problem with this form of promotion. Sending loose tea in to this event would leave one with less tea. I’m struggling to find a way around that problem. Maybe I could get rid of that fake-aristocratic bergamot-doused stuff.

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