Thursday, December 16, 2010

“Liberty Milestones”: December 16, 1773, The Boston Tea Party

Contributed by Rees Lloyd

Happy Boston Tea Party Day! December 16 marks the 237th anniversary of the first American “Tea Party” on December 16, 1773.

However, while the Boston Tea Party is an iconic milestone of American liberty, it has not yet been officially recognized as “National Tea Party Day” by Act of Congress.

But it ought to be. Who better to start the effort to establish a national “Tea Party Day” by act of the incoming 112th "Tea Party" Congress than the listeners of patriot Victoria Taft's "Tea Party Of The Air” and readers of her blog?

Many of the oppressive and tyrannical acts of England in deprivation of American liberty which inspired the first Tea Party in December 16 1773 appear to be replicated in different form today by the oppressive and tyrannical Democrat Party regime led by President Barack Hussein Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry (Dirty Deal) Reid, and San Francisco Nancy Pelosi.

Obama-Reid-Pelosi today, with Democrat Party monopoly control over the White House, the Senate, and the House in the 111th Congress, have collectively thumb nosed Americans (and worse) by taxing, spending, and redistributing wealth to those whom they favor with all the haughty contempt for Americans that English King George III and Prime Minister Lord North manifested before Americans rebelled and chose freedom over security.

The American revolutionary “Tea Party” of Dec. 16, 1773, was the culmination of a series of oppressive acts of England to tax Americans “without representation” in the Parliament.

As author William Federer points out in his “” on Dec. 16, 2010, those acts included: “1764 the Sugar Act –taxing sugar coffee, wine; 1765 Stamp Act –taxing newspapers, contracts, letters, playing cards, and all printed materials; 1767 Townshend Acts—taxing glass, paints, paper;” and, in 1773, the Tea Act, which compelled Americans to pay taxes on tea while allowing England’s favored “East India Tea Company to sell a half million pounds of tea in the colonies with no taxes, giving them a monopoly by underselling American merchants."

Rebelling against “taxation without representation,” American patriots led by firebrand Samuel Adams, known as the “Father of the American Revolution,” and a founder of the “Sons of Liberty,” on December 16, 1773, carried out the first, historic “Boston Tea Party” in a manner which I believe reflects the exceptional, and continuing, American spirit and character—bold, daring, determined, willing to sacrifice in the cause of cause of liberty, totally committed to freedom and victory, but carrying out the fight with élan and a sense of humor.

That is, these Americans, facing the enormously powerful England, set out to dump the English tea in the Boston Harbor rather than surrender to England’s oppression. These American patriots, many of them Sons of Liberty, facing dread punishments if caught, did so with many of them dressed up disguised as “Mohawk Indians.” As I said, these American patriots had a sense of humor.

At the harbor, these “Mohawks” boarded the three English tea-bearing ships, the Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver, and dumped a reported 342 chests of tea in the water. And went home. Nobody, least of all the English, thought “the Indians did it.”

William Federer, author of “America’s God And Country; Encyclopedia of Quotations,” the best single resource on what the Founding Fathers said and wrote of their beliefs in founding America, reports that the statement issued by the Americans of the Boston Tea Party was:

“Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their liberties…We implore the Ruler above the skies that He would bare His arm…and let Israel go.”

For those early American patriots, many if not most of who considered America to be the “New Israel,” England would not easily let America go. Rather, England imposed the punitive “Coercive Acts,” also known as the “Intolerable Acts,” meant to beat down the Americans into submission.

Those oppressions failed to kill the American spirit and love for freedom. Rather, Americans, pledging “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, declared their Independence, and fought the greatest military on earth for their freedom, from 1775 until the Treaty of Paris of 1783. Many of them did, indeed, sacrifice their lives, and their fortunes, but not their sacred honor, fighting for freedom. Our freedom.

The Boston Tea Party has continued to inspire.

For one instance, in India, Mahatma Gandhi, after leading his successful nationwise protest against England’s monopoly of “salt” in 1939, reportedly presented the English viceroy with some duty-free salt, saying that the salt was “to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party.”

For further and more immediate example, on February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli, broadcast news financial reporter, saying “President Obama – are you listening?,” rose up in a nationwide broadcast against the Obama administration’s re-distributionist governmental policies to call for a “new Tea Party.” Santelli’s apparently spontaneous protest sparked the rise of the now nationwide Tea Party Movement.

Santelli’s now famous protest also led to the Tea Party in Pioneer Square in April, 2009, called by Oregon’s own unabashed American patriot, Victoria Taft, which drew over 5,000 patriots even in the heart of Portland, the Principality of Liberal Political Correctness.

The Boston Tea Part of Dec. 16, 1773, is, then, truly a milestone of liberty. Those original Tea Party Patriots should be remembered, and honored, by, first, an Act of the incoming 112th Congress to establish December 16th as “National Tea Party Day;” and second, and most importantly, by the Americans of this generation fighting to preserve American freedom for our posterity as those original Tea Party patriots fought to establish and preserve freedom for us.

[Rees Lloyd is a longtime civil rights lawyer formerly with the ACLU, American Legion Life Member and Judge Advocate Post 79; Past Commander and Scribe, District 21; and an unashamed American patriot.]

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