Most of the last week was spent in Boston, a three-day trip which we all really enjoyed. We flew up early on Tuesday morning and flew back late on Thursday. On Wednesday, one of the first places we went was to the Boston Tea Party Boats and Museum. There, we started off with the tour. It began with a man, Josiah Bradlee, that called us all to rebel against the British taxation without representation! We entered another room, each of us given a feather as as “disguise.” Not only that, but we were each given a card with a “new identity” on it. One of my classmates got Sarah Bradlee Fulton, who, as we learned, was called the mother of the revolution. She was Josiah’s sister and came up with the way to disguise the men. Another one of my classmates got Nathaniel Bradlee, Josiah’s younger brother. I got Thomas Melville, who was the grandfather of the famous Herman Melville.
After assigning us our identities, Josiah Bradlee ran us through the expressions we were to use. For instance, if we like something, we should pound our feet against the benches, yell “Huzzah,” or say, “Hear, hear!” If we dislike something, like talk about the King, we can also pound our feet against the benches, call out “Boo,” or hiss. If we want to be rude, we make a thumbs up, plant the top of our thumb on our noses, uncurl your fingers, wave them, and call, “Fie!” Then, Samuel Adams entered the room, to give a speech. It was so engaging and fun! I had lots of fun calling out “Huzzah” and “Boo!” Finally, we got to parade to the Eleanor, which we remembered was one of the three ships that had their cargo dumped. The other two were the Dartmouth and the Beaver. There, we learned about the ship. It was the only full-rigged ship of the three; the other two were smaller. Where we stood, we were very close to the sight of the actual event. There, they had three “carts of tea” for us to throw over. My classmates and I all threw them over, three of us at a time. After a short speech on the Eleanor, about the boat and the actual tea party, we continued down to the hold, where there were mock tea cartons and barrels full of “rum and molasses.” We learned that the darker barrels carried liquids because they were painted over with a waterproof paint that made them appear black. We also entered the captain’s cabin, where we all sent a good “fie” towards the captain’s mannikin.
Finally, we headed upstairs and off the boat, to the indoors. The first exhibit we went to was one with a wooden box rotating in a glass case. As it turns out, this is one of two actual boxes that remain from the Tea Party. This one was passed down in a family, from generation to generation. I thought that it was really amazing that we got to see an actual carton of tea from the event. Then, we turned to portraits on the walls. As we watched, two of the people, King George III and Samuel Adams, started speaking and moving in their frames. They were quoting letters that they had written, but they could have also been arguing. As for our last exhibit, we watched a short film on the early events in the war that we were able to connect with what we learned back at home. The movie ended with a singing of God Bless America, which was our national anthem for a time. Ironically, as we learned, God Bless America was written to the tune of God Save the King. God Save the King was actually written to the tune of a German drinking song. I thought that was an interesting fact!
Overall, I believe that our experience at the Boston Tea Party museum and during the tour was fantastic! We learned so much, had an engaging experience, and were able to connect what we heard there with what we had learned at home.