FOUR – Boston was one of four American cities commissioned to receive the tea shipments.
On September 27, 1773, seven ships laden with two-thousand chests of East India Company tea left London. Four were heading to Boston while the other three were destined for New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. Three ships, the Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver, eventually docked in Boston two months later while one Boston-bound ship was lost in a gale off Cape Cod.
The Polly landed in Philadelphia on Christmas eve and was turned around, fully-laden, for a return voyage to London. The chests of tea aboard the ship London were off-loaded in Charleston and held in the damp basement of the Customs House where the tea quickly spoiled. The ship Nancy ran into horrendous storms, was blown off-course and arrived in New York in April 1774 where it was met by resistance. The Nancy’s captain too was persuaded to head back to London with tea onboard.
FIVE – The tea rebellion in Boston was not originally called a “tea party.”
The rebellious act of tossing tea into Boston harbor would not be called a “tea party” until 1829 when the Providence Patriot reported the death of ninety-seven year-old resident by the name of Nicholas Campbell, who “was one of the ever-memorable Boston Tea Party, who committed one of the first acts of resistance to British oppression.”
Another member of the raiding party that night was Thomas Melville, grandfather of Moby Dick author Herman Melville.