The Original New Hampshire Tea Party
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Written by SeacaostNH Archives Presents
Historic Portsmouth #366

They were revolutionaries of the highest order, but they were also polite and well spoken. The members of the first political “tea party” in the Seacoast met at Hampton on January 17, 1774. This was the city’s first recorded action leading up to the American Revolution. (Continued below)

The town passed the Tea Act Resolves that condemned the British tea tax as “unreasonable and unconstitutional.” The brave Hampton signers went on to say “it must be evident to every one that is not lost to virtue nor devoid of common sense that if they [the taxes] are submitted to [they] will be totally destructive to our natural and constitutional rights and liberties, and have a direct tendency to reduce the Americans to a state of actual slavery.” Wealthy white seacoast citizens of this era, we must remember, were still enslaving African men, women and children. This photo shows the Hampton float in the 1974 parade honoring the 1774 bicentennial of the Raid on Fort William & Mary in New Castle. The original Hampton signers included Philip Towle, Capt. Josiah Moulton, Amos Coffin, William Lane, and Josiah Moulton III. (Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum)