23 November 2013

Tea Party (of The United East India Tea Company Variety)

Nina about to commit treason

The rigging of the 'Eleanor' - authentically sail-less

On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK we commemorated another famous moment in American history with Boston connections  - the Boston Tea Party - at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.  This relatively new museum was a surprising delight.  Two of the three ships have been faithfully recreated, with the third in production.  The museum is staffed by humerous young folk in costume who really know their history and seem to genuinely enjoy being in character.  We attended the meeting at the Old South Meeting House where Samuel Adams roused us all to action, we stormed the Eleanor, went below decks, and tossed the tea overboard.  If Boston Harbour wasn't exactly a teapot, we at least had a sense of what it all would have been like.  I learned lots of interesting things - like the origins of the expression 'sleep tight' and that a crew of 8 to 10 men had only 4 bunks between them.  The captain of the 'Eleanor' was a Tory and took the tea on board in support of the king, knowing the potential for trouble unloading the cargo in Boston.  The ship's owner was a patriot and participated in the tea party aboard his own ship. 

Handing over the money for the tour, I expected it to either be terribly cheesy or horribly dull, but it was neither.  By the time our tour was over, and we'd had tea and scones in the tea rooms, it was dark outside.    

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