Another Tea Rebellion Further South
When you think of “tea parties” preceding the American Revolution, everyone recalls the famous incident in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773. But further south, another tea rebellion soon boiled over.
It didn’t take long for the news of the Boston uprising to reach the bustling inland port of Edenton, North Carolina. Citizens there were already up in arms in response to the Tea Act of 1773, which levied a three pence tax on each pound of tea. In an act of solidarity with their Massachusetts brothers and sisters, Edenton residents sent a shipload of corn, pork, and other provisions to the hungry families of Salem and Boston the following summer.
One local resident was determined to make an equally strong statement to King George. On October 25, 1774, Penelope Barker organized a gathering of fifty women who formed an alliance wholeheartedly supporting the American cause against “taxation without representation.” The custom of tea drinking was deeply instilled in the lives of the colonists. Every home had a proper tea service and social occasions were often defined by the amount of tea provided. Swearing off tea was no small matter.