J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tea Party Meeting Reenactment

This Sunday, 16 December, the Old South Meeting-house will host its annual reenactment of the public meetings that led up to the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The event starts at 5:30 P.M. Admission is free for Old South members and folks dressed in colonial attire, $5 for everyone else.

The historic site’s invitation:

Immerse yourself in colonial nostalgia and become part of a courageous demonstration of political activism. Join a historic rally, cleverly crafted by Samuel Adams and the bold Sons of Liberty, and experience the destruction of the tea through theatrical storytelling from first-hand accounts.

The Boston Tea Party 234th Anniversary Reenactment is brought to life by the Old South’s Tea Party Players. The Players will dutifully don their historic garb and descend upon the Old South Meeting House to decide the fate of the cargo of tea held aboard ships docked in Boston Harbor. And after a recreation of the fiery debate wherein Samuel Adams declared that “this meeting can do no more to save this country,” we will hear from George Robert Twelves Hewes, a shoemaker and participant in the famous tea party. The audience is encouraged to join in and cheer on this portrayal of the most famous protest in American history!
In past years, when the Tea Party Ship Museum was open, these reenactments ended with the crowd streaming down to the waterfront to watch (from an increasing distance) the men on that ship toss boxes into the water. There’s no ship to march to right now, so Old South has arranged for fife and drum tunes from the Musick of Prescott’s Batallion outside, and—here’s the part I can’t picture yet—the chance to “photograph your own tea party in our staged scene on the Borders Plaza.” (Borders Plaza is apparently the commercial name for what I think of as the site of the godawful Irish Famine Memorial.)

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