Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, December 13, 2007

  Some facts re the original Boston Tea Party

Coincidentally, I was in Boston researching the American Revolution - specifically the details behind the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre - back in July of this year.

The Tea party museum had burned down in 2001, and the ship had been towed away for repairs in 2004. I didn't know this and spent an hour along the waterfront, fruitlessly asking locals where it was.

The darn thing keeps catching on fire - most recently in mid august, 2007.

After walking the streets for a while, absorbing history - and Boston has a LOT of history on display - somewhere around here I have a picture of the plaque that commemorates the origin of the term "gerrymander" - I ended up at the Boston Library, which is simply one of the most magnificent libraries I've ever been in.

While Wikipedia has captured part of Ben Franklin's reaction to the incident, Franklin's actual letter is on file at the library, and I dearly wish I'd printed out a copy.

And did you know that at the time of the revolution, and for over 70 years afterwards, the Boston Tea Party had no name, until one day, in 1852 or so, one of the last living participants in the event gave a deathbed interview to a newspaper about it.

I don't have the exact quote handy, but he said no more than: "Ah, yes, heck of a party, that". It was a short piece, barely a thumb's length long.

And from that: the legend of the Boston Tea Party was born. The story rapidly spread across the USA, and entered into our national folklore. I hope someone attending the rally gets to the library and prints this stuff out....

As for the upcoming teaparty fundraiser for Ron Paul, the Ron Paul Blimp looks slated to get off the ground tomorrow. Due to bad weather, it's heading south, rather than north. The Ron Paul girl has a new video scheduled to come out tomorrow, Technorati has over 90,000 articles relating to Ron Paul (it had only 45000 at the peak of the November 5th fundraiser, and less than 12000 before then), and nearly 30,000 people have signed up to donate on the Teaparty07 site.

I really haven't the faintest idea what's going to happen. There's a lot of motivated, angry people out there that are a part of this... people that want to see their name flash by on the web and give a finger to the establishment...

But I don't think that Sam Adams and friends knew what was going to happen, either, when they had 4,000 people stuffed into a drafty old hall, on that cold night of Dec 16th, 1773, nor do I suppose that they had any inkling as to what would happen only a few years later.

"Heck of a party, that." Indeed.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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