Tea Burning Woman
In the years preceding the Battle of Lexington, despite being
disempowered from owning property and outright excluded
from voting, running for, or serving in office, women exercised
political and economic agency. Women played an important
role in implementing the tea boycott and were believed to have
joined the 1773 Lexington Tea Burning protest. Women were
instrumental in sustaining boycotts, with most domestic chores
falling to women and girls. This figure symbolizes the way
women’s energy continues to fuel freedom’s fire.
Connection to Lexington:
At this time patriots were boycotting British products and women were gathering herbs to make their own herbal teas, drinking hot chocolate and coffee rather than the imported, heavily taxed English tea http://www.lexingtonhistory.org/uploads/6/5/2/1/6521332/buckman_tavern_lhs-af2011.pdf
The First Tea Party Held at Lexington (paper) by Anita Worthen document 10.02.01 (held at Cary memorial library)
“We are positively informed that the patriotic inhabitants of Lexington, at a late meeting, unanimously resolved against the use of Bohea tea of all sorts, Dutch or English importation; and to manifest the sincerity of their resolution, they brought together every ounce contained in the town, and committed it to one common bonfire.” from Boston Gazette December 20, 1773
Link to page in Notable American Women:
Inclusion in the Lexington
Historical Society Exhibit?
Date of Event: 13 Dec 1773
From Emily Murphy: …there is no record of who exactly participated in this event, and what the women of Lexington actually thought about it. Were they willing participants, emptying their tea caddies into the fires themselves? Was there some mob action where men and women forced themselves into the houses of their more reluctant neighbors to confiscate the “pernicious herb?” Or did they stand silently by while their husbands dumped their precious hoarded tea into a bag to take back to the center of town? We can only speculate about these reactions.