Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

Back to The Boston Tea Party

"We hear from Weston in the County of Middlesex ..."

We hear from Weston in the County of Middlesex ...

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Good Indians, Bad Indians
Tea has become an accursed commodity by 1774. Those who serve and drink it, no less than those who import it, are reviled. While they have been urged not to drink the tea since the imposition of the Townshend duties in 1767--when young ladies had been instructed to "Throw aside your Bohea and your Green Hyson Tea"--the colonists are often forgiven their lapses. After visiting John Hancock's home in February 1771, John Adams hopes that the tea he drinks there is Dutch and smuggled. In the wake of the events of 16 December 1773, however, any contact with the "pernicious weed" becomes grounds for verbal, and even physical, attacks.

To examine all four pages of this newspaper, please see the online display of The Massachusetts Gazette; and the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser , 4 April 1774.

Questions to Consider

1. What is a "paper visage"?

2. Why does the crowd attack Jones's inn? Do you think the attack is justified? Why or why not?

3. Characterize the attack's participants. Be sure to ground your descriptions in the facts as set forth. Draw an opinion of these individuals from your characterization.

Further Exploration

4. Consider alternative approaches to the issue before the town. Write a paragraph outlining one of your approaches and why you think it is better or worse than the one taken in Weston.