"Boston, December 20. On Tuesday last the body of the people ..."

Boston, December 20. On Tuesday last the body of the people ...
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[ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]

This excerpted article from the Boston Gazette describes the 15 and 16 December 1773 meetings that resulted in the Boston Tea Party. The removal of most British soldiers from the port to Castle William created a golden opportunity for the demonstration to take place without much interference.

342 Chests of Tea into the Sea

News of events in Boston on the evening of Thursday, 16 December, spreads quickly by letter and by word of mouth. On Monday, 20 December, the Boston Gazette describes the 15 and 16 December meetings of the Body and what transpired in their aftermath. All English soldiers having been removed to Castle William in the days following the Boston Massacre, Boston's waterfront is well within the patriots' control. Meanwhile, tea is continuing to arrive at colonial ports, and a lively public debate is stirring deep into the countryside.

To examine all four pages of this newspaper, please see the online display of The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal, 20 December 1773.

Questions to Consider

1. Do you think that this report offers a fair and unbiased account of the events? Why or why not? Be sure to give evidence for your conclusion.

Further Exploration

2. Comparing this account with the minutes of the meetings of the Body on 15 and 16 December, create a detailed timeline of the events of those two days.

3. The report characterizes the owners of the ships as "well pleased" with the turn of events. Do you think that characterization is accurate? Why or why not? Look beyond the news account to gather your evidence.