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Boston Tea Party Participants Honored with Commemorative Grave Markers in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Ground Initiative, placed commemorative markers at the gravesite of twenty-five known Boston Tea Party participants at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in the North End on Friday morning.

A total of sixty-three gravestones across Boston were marked by costumed actors from the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, including historical burial sites such as Central Burying Ground, Granary Burying Ground, and King’s Chapel Burying Ground. Plaques were placed at the Cohasset Central Burying Ground in Cohasset, Massachusetts earlier this month.

“I find it ironic today that we’re here recognizing and celebrating individuals who took an oath of secrecy and they took it to their grave,” said Shawn Ford, Executive Director of the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. “Here we are today to out them and say thank you very much.”

Leading up to the 246th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party on December 16th, eighty-five markers in total will be placed at the resting places of the many brave people involved in the significant historical event that resulted in 340 chests of tea being dumped into the Boston Harbor.

From the North and South Shores, and as far west as Worcester, some of Massachusetts’s oldest burial grounds will bear the commemorative marker. Locations include the Old Burial Ground in Cambridge, Phipps Street Burial Ground in Charlestown, Green Street Cemetery in Marblehead, Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn, Salem Street Burying Ground in Medford, Harmony Grove Cemetery and Broad Street Cemetery in Salem, and Hope Cemetery in Worcester.

Inspired by Nathaniel Currier’s The Destruction of the Tea at Boston Harbor lithograph created in 1846, the decorative plaques will be on display until the end of the year.

Considered the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution, burial grounds of those involved in the Boston Tea Party are scattered across much of New England and as far away as Chicago. The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum hopes that some day additional markers will be placed at the graves of participants across the United States.

“While no official count exists,” said Evan O’Brien, Creative Manager at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, “it is believed that well over 100 individuals were involved in the tea’s destruction in 1773 and there’s always been an air of mystery and secrecy surrounding these participants.”

The honoring of the Boston Tea Party will conclude on December 16, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Old South Meeting House with a major reenactment of that infamous evening.

The public will have the opportunity to relive that fateful night with a fiery tax debate at Old South Meeting House, a procession to the waterfront, and a reenactment of tea being dumped into the Harbor. All are invited to send loose tea (no used tea bags) to: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210. Be sure to include your name, address, e-mail, and phone number in order to receive an official certificate of participation. The deadline to send in your tea is on December 10, 2019.

For more information about the upcoming celebration, visit here.

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