True Maine Patriots: The Little-Known Story of the York Tea Party
When looking back at American history, it's impossible not to mention the significance of the Boston Tea Party.
The event, which took place in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, was one of the first major acts of defiance against the colonist's British oppressors. According to reports, around 92,000 lbs. of tea were dumped into the harbor as a protest against
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This protest was one of the most influential of the era, and would help motivate the masses to eventually start a rebellion.
However, it would also inspire a group of individuals in what is now the state of Maine. An act of aggression that doesn't really get the attention it probably deserves. I'm talking about Maine's own Tea Party.
According to the Seacoast Online, following the Boston Tea Party, more and more resistance groups were starting to grow, with many being inspired by the defiant act against the crown. One of those groups was in the town of York. In fact, John Adams even wrote that he felt that the York resistance was one of the most loyal to the movement he had seen.
Adams would be proven right, because an incident was about to occur right off the coast of York.
According to oldnorth.com, on the night of September 15, 1774, there was a ship moored in the harbor named the Cynthia. This sloop contained around 150 pounds of tea. It would be boarded and emptied of its cargo.
News reports at the time claimed the tea was carried off by "Pickwacket Indians" and was never seen again. However, it's more likely than not that all of the tea was actually returned to the merchants, as the York patriots were more interested in a symbolic gesture than anything else. We Mainers are just too nice.
The York Tea Party was just one of many symbolic gestures at the time. According to oldnorth.com, similar protests could be found as far south as Charleston, South Carolina. There was no question that tensions were about to boil over, and that war was imminent.
It's always great to learn more about Maine's place in American history. Even the smallest acts of defiance have an impact.
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