Dec 152007
Part of the Boston Tea Party Series -         Next in series

George Hewes was a member of the band of “Indians” that boarded the tea ships on December 16, 1773. His recollection of the event was published some years later. We’ll join his story as the group makes its way to the tea-laden ships-

It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin’s wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination.

When we arrived at the wharf, there were three of our number who assumed an authority to direct our operations, to which we readily submitted. They divided us into three parties, for the purpose of boarding the three ships which contained the tea at the same time. The name of him who commanded the division to which I was assigned was Leonard Pitt. The names of the other commanders I never knew. We were immediately ordered by the respective commanders to board all the ships at the same time, which we promptly obeyed. The commander of the division to which I belonged, as soon as we were on board the ship, appointed me boatswain, and ordered me to go to the captain and demand of him the keys to the hatches and a dozen candles. I made the demand accordingly, and the captain promptly replied, and delivered the articles; but requested me at the same time to do no damage to the ship or rigging. We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders, first cutting and splitting the chests with our tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water.

In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the same way, at the same time. We were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us.

…The next morning, after we had cleared the ships of the tea, it was discovered that very considerable quantities of it were floating upon the surface of the water; and to prevent the possibility of any of its being saved for use, a number of small boats were manned by sailors and citizens, who rowed them into those parts of the harbor wherever the tea was visible, and by beating it with oars and paddles so thoroughly drenched it as to render its entire destruction inevitable.

This message is brought to you by me, Aahz, in hopes that you’ll support today’s
Tea Party 2007

The Tea Tax that was being protested was approximately a 3% tax. Today, the average American pays as much as 70% of their total income in taxes (income, sales, gas, utility, etc). And yet, most American’s sit idly by claiming there’s nothing they can do. Well, here’s one VERY easy thing you can do: support Ron Paul. Donate to his campaign and vote for him in your state’s Republican primary.

Part of the Boston Tea Party Series -        Next in series

The Complete Boston Tea Party Series-

  1. First Hand Account of The Boston Tea Party
  2. Research Into The Amount Of Tea Tax Inspiring Boston Tea Party

  4 Responses to “First Hand Account of The Boston Tea Party”

  1. Aahz, I totally agree on the apathy of citizens about paying INTOLERABLE taxes….In my younger days, I stood out in front of the Post Office on April 15, trying to educate people on the illegality of the income tax…I was actually told I wasn’t PATRIOTIC!!…Thanks for the 3% tea tax figure; I’ve spent hours trying to find out just what was the intolerable tax (I thought I learned in school it was 10%) but I can’t seem to find it anywhere on the internet (ONE person claimed it was 1%, but he didn’t seem too verifiable)….I’ve gone through all my books about and by the founding fathers and can’t find it….Did I just imagine an “intolerable tax” or was it referring strictly to the tea tax, do you know?

  2. You’ve inspired me, Sara! I was going to post a quick “I don’t recall where I heard 3%” comment, but it’s turned into several hours of research and another longish blog post. Hopefully it will be posted this evening.

  3. […] Saturday I posted a first hand account of the Boston Tea Party written by George Hewes, an impoverished colonial cobbler and member of the Sons of Liberty. In […]

  4. Well, I couldn’t come up with a firm answer for you, Sara, but I did find some fascinating research. Thanks for the prod! You can read the full post at

  5. Aahz,

    Thanks alot!…That was very interesting….Obviously, “lawyer-speak” has been around a good long while…..Anyway, I guess no matter WHAT the intolerable tax was, our nowaday taxes that take us 6 mos. to pay, don’t seem intolerable enough to too many people.

    How to UN-brainwash the people is the key….they’ve got to be reassured they could actually take care of themselves….At this point, they’d rather give half their money to the gov’t., and wait for the gov’t to give SOME of it back to them….Like THAT’S less scary than being held self-accountable.


  6. […] got paid? I will remind you students of American history that some red-blooded Yankees held the Boston Tea party over a 3% tax on tea! You heard me right; the spark that ignited the American Revolution was a 3% tax on tea! How far we […]

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shire Publications, Emily Brand. Emily Brand said: Rebelling against the Tea Tax: A First Hand Account of the Boston Tea Party #history #tea […]

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