The Boston Tea Party
a poem for kids

In the 18th century Britain and America went to war over an argument as to what was the correct way to brew tea - in a cup, a pot, or a harbor.

Not really.  The Boston Tea Party was a political protest against the British government and King George III. 

In December 1773, a group of protesters, fed up with being taxed by the British thousands of miles away, disguised themselves as native Americans and boarded some British cargo ships in Boston harbor. They threw the ship's cargo, tea, into the sea.

This poem by Paul Perro tells the story in a way that is fun, and easy for children to understand. If, after reading the poem, you would like to know more, please scroll down to the bottom of the page for lots of interesting facts.


The Boston Tea Party

Sammy lived in Boston.
And he loved to drink tea.
But one day something happened
That made him angry.

A king in a faraway land said
"From now on every time
Someone drinks a cup of tea
They must give me a dime."

This did not seem fair to Sammy.
The king lived so far away
Why should he care what Sammy drank?
And why should Sammy pay?

Lots of people agreed with Sammy
There was a lot of frustration.
People made speeches with long clever words
Like “taxation” and “representation.”

So Sammy got some friends together
And the rebellion began.
They knew where the king kept his tea
And they came up with a plan.

Sammy was a little worried
That they’d be recognised.
So they dressed up as red Indians
And then went out disguised.

The tea was kept on three ships
Docked in the harbour
The ships were called “The Dartmouth”
“The Beaver” and “The Eleanor.”

They climbed aboard the Dartmouth first
And quickly found the tea.
They found hundreds of boxes
And threw them in the sea.

Next they boarded the Beaver
And found where the tea was stored.
Just like they had done before,
They threw it overboard.

Then they moved to the Eleanor
And did the same thing there.
They spoiled all the king’s tea
Because he’d been unfair.

They hadn’t wanted to steal the tea
Because stealing things is wrong.
They’d wanted to teach the king a lesson
That was the plan all along.

The next day everyone was talking
About the tea that Sammy had sunk.
They called it the Boston Tea Party
Even though no tea had been drunk.




Facts about the Boston Tea Party

  • The events took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773.

  • The protestors were led by Samuel Adams, and included Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock. They called themselves The Sons of Liberty, and they objected to being ruled by the British and having to pay them tax.

  • In particular, they were angry about the Tea Act, that gave gave an unfair trading advantage to a British company.

  • A large group of them (perhaps a hundred or so) disguised themselves as Mohawk Native Americans, and went on board 3 British cargo ships that were in the harbour. They threw the cargo (tea) into the sea.

  • 342 crates full of tea were dumped overboard.

  • The protest did not especially hurt the British, but it was symbolic. It encouraged other Americans to stand up to the British, and it was was a very important step on the way to the War of Independence.

  • This was one of the key events which led up to the American Revolution, and independence.

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