how much tea was dumped in the boston tea party

how much tea was dumped in the boston tea party

The Boston Tea Party and How Much Tea Was Dumped

The Boston Tea Party is an event that’s been celebrated by Americans since 1773, when a group of American colonists defiantly rebelled against the British Empire. The event itself was spurred by a growing animosity of British taxation and political control over the American colonists. Two hundred and forty-two years later, the Boston Tea Party still remains an integral part of American history.

What Was Dumped?

It’s often said that 342 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor on the night of December 16th, 1773, but that’s an approximation. In total, there were 92,000 pounds of tea from three ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver. Tea was dumped from all three ships at Griffin’s Wharf, which was near modern day Oklahoma City.

Why Was Tea Dumped?

The British Empire had imposed a heavy taxation on tea, which was seen as a direct affront to the colonial’s right to self-governance. Colonists had been smuggling tea into the colonies since the Stamp Act of 1765, but the tensions quickly rose when the Tea Act of 1773 made it illegal. This was seen as a bellwether moment, one where colonists would either stand up and fight against the British over-extension of power, or they would quietly accept it.

What Happened Afterwards?

The Boston Tea Party caused international uproar, forcing the British government to impose harsh taxes on the colonies and notably spurring the American Revolution.

The tea that was dumped eventually made its way down Boston Harbor, where it was then retrieved by deep sea divers and auctioned off. To this day, no one knows exactly how much tea was dumped in Boston Harbor, but estimates hold that it was equivalent to about 2-4 shiploads.

Why Is The Boston Tea Party Important?

The Boston Tea Party is seen as a bellwether moment in American history, where colonists rose up and fought for what they believed in, and ultimately secured American independence. The event began the path towards America’s independence and inspired a host of acts of civil disobedience in the years that followed.

Today, it is memorialized in statues and monuments throughout the New England area, with the importance of the event still revered in American culture.


The Boston Tea Party was an important event in American history, and one that is still celebrated to this day. While the exact amount of tea dumped into Boston Harbor remains unknown, estimates suggest that it was between 92,000 and 342 pounds of tea. Regardless of the amount, the event is seen as an integral part of America’s founding story, and one that has been immortalized in statues and monuments throughout the region.



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