The Boston Tea Party: Costume Optional?

In an 1884 article reprint of an earlier newspaper story about the Boston Tea Party, an editor at The Bay State Monthly remarked, "This account of the Boston Tea-Party … taken, verbatim, from The Boston Evening Post, Monday, December 20, 1773 … adds another link in the chain of evidence to prove that the Patriots were disguised as Indians." Why did the editor feel there needed to be a "chain of evidence" about that point? Was there ever any doubt that the Patriots were disguised as Indians? What really happened at the Boston Tea Party? What sources can help us find out?

Note: Learn about other famous tea parties held to protest British taxes in the complementary EDSITEment lesson, Revolutionary Tea Parties and the Reasons for Revolution

Guiding Questions

What really happened at the Boston Tea Party? How can we "know" what happened at an historical event of the distant past?

Learning Objectives

After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to

Retell the events of the Boston Tea Party.

List some types of sources historians use to reconstruct what happened in the past.