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Boston Tea Party re-enactment set for Sunday

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  December 13, 2012 03:30 PM

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old south mtg house.jpg
(Jeremy C. Fox for
The Old South Meeting House.

The Old South Meeting House and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will mark the 239th anniversary of the historic Boston Tea Party with a recreation this Sunday afternoon.

Re-enactors from across the region will come together to recreate the community gathering at the meeting house where colonists protested the tax on tea. They will then march, led by fife and drums, to Boston Harbor to throw the tea into the water, according to an announcement from the organizers.

Playing such roles as Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, Patriot re-enactors will face off against Loyalists in a vigorous debate that visitors are encouraged to join. More re-enactors will join the crowd as it marches to the harbor.

At the harbor, the Sons of Liberty will quarrel with re-enactors playing a customs officer and the captain of the Big Beaver before boarding that ship to break open the tea chests and dump their contents into the harbor.

This year’s re-enactment is dedicated to the memory of Alfred F. Young, a historian who taught at Northern Illinois University and was the author of books including “The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution.”

Young shared his research and enthusiasm for the American Revolution with staff and visitors to the Old South Meeting House for 25 years before his death last month.

Re-enactor Paul O’Shaughnessy will narrate the event, playing the role of George Robert Twelves Hewes, the Boston shoemaker of Young’s book, who became famous in the 19th century as the last surviving participant of the Tea Party.

The reenactment will run from 4 – 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The march to the harbor and observation of the destruction of the tea chests are open to the public, and both the meeting house and the Tea Party museum will be free to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday before closing in preparation for the re-enactment.

Tickets must be purchased to witness the Meeting of the Body of the People inside the meeting house. They also also include access to a reserved viewing area for the destruction of the tea chests and a souvenir pin.

Advance tickets cost $15 and $12 for children ages 4 – 12. Children under 4 may attend for free. All tickets at the door are $20. To purchase tickets, visit or call 1-800-838-3006.

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