Guest Contribution By: Cheshire Freeman
Hello, my fellow tea lovers, onlookers, and anyone who just needs something other than football or opinions on Facebook to quietly read while you enjoy your favorite steeped piece of heaven. Today I will be “T Ching” you a lesson in history!
245 years ago here in America, the forefathers–first of the immigrants to this country–dressed up as Mohawk American Indians and made the biggest cup of tea EVER.
They were led by a man who is now best known because of beer (figures, doesn’t it?): Mr. Samuel Adams. He gathered his rebel team of beer drinkers known as the Sons of Liberty, who had decided that the monopoly being formed by the India Trading Company and the British Government was oppressive and tyrannical. An all too common and familiar scenario anymore.
When the three ships carrying all that soothing enjoyable tea arrived, the sixty plus men showed up at the Boston Harbor (in an orderly and peaceful protest, I’m sure) and asked the governor–a man by the name of Thomas Hutchinson–if they would mind kindly sending the tea back to the Queen. Because, well, they were rebels and beer drinkers. So when the nice governor told them “no”, Mr. Adams and his boys raided the ships and tossed every crate of tea they found into the harbor.
The grand total cost of the tea came to just under 20,000 British pounds, so adding in the exchange rate and 200 years of inflation, you can imagine the cost today. At that point, America didn’t even have their own currency yet!
In fact, this cup (harbor) of tea caused a landslide of events that included falling under martial law by the British over the colonies, and finally forced a bunch of beer-drinking rebels to create the Continental Congress and the rest, as they say, is history!
I feel it necessary to share this little nugget of the past with you because whatever your political affiliations, immigrant status, or heck: Even if you live in a country that still makes tea by the cupful (rather than harbor-ful), you might feel that we’re doomed to repeat the past. Our leaders didn’t study history, and religious and radical oppression is still a problem in today’s world. Take a lesson and a little pride that we were all immigrants at some point if you go far enough back, and each of us has a rebel in our hearts that can laugh triumphantly as you violently throw your tea bag or strainer into your cup; and forget for just a minute about any situation that might oppress you. Because even little acts can change your world in a big way.
Cheshire Freeman is a freelance illustration artist and personality.
Cheshire’s Looking Glass Art Gallery Facebook Page