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Photo of men in period clothing being thrown overboard
The crew of the Brigantine Geddes and their cargo of tea are thrown overboard by the rebel colonists in this re-enactment

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Chestertown Tea Party Festival
A Local Legacy

Most people have heard of the Boston Tea Party, but did you know that Maryland had a similar "tea party?"

In 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which taxed tea and restricted who was allowed to import tea into the American Colonies. Bostonians protested by boarding three ships in the night disguised as Native Americans and dumping the British tea into Boston Harbor. This famous protest became known as the Boston Tea Party. The British responded by closing the Port of Boston until the Colonists paid for the destroyed tea.

This angered many people in the other Colonies, and in Chestertown, Maryland, the citizens protested by deciding not to buy, sell, or drink British tea. Then, in May 1774, they boarded a British ship loaded with a cargo of tea and threw it into the Chester River. Unlike the Tea Party in Boston, the citizens of Chestertown made no attempt to disguise themselves and acted in broad daylight. Every May, the Chestertown Tea Party Festival is the site of a celebration remembering those brave citizens. There's a parade, a 10-mile run, Colonial crafts demonstrations, and of course, a re-enactment of the historic Chestertown Tea Party!

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