Old South Meeting House

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1773

Old South Meeting House

Built in 1729, the Old South Meeting House was the largest building in colonial Boston.

Benjamin Franklin was baptized here, patriot leader Samuel Adams and Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American female writer, worshipped here, and, in the tumultuous days leading to the Revolution, meetings of protest were held here.

The event that sealed Old South's place in history is the Boston Tea Party. On the night of December 16, 1773, 5,000 patriots packed into Old South. If the cheap East India Company tea on three ships in the harbor was unloaded, it would be an irresistible temptation for the local citizens. The patriots' boycott would fail. For hours they debated without resolution. Then Samuel Adams gave the signal and the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Indians, raced to Griffin's Wharf and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.

Parliament retaliated by shutting down the Port of Boston. Shipping was blockaded, and would be until the King's treasury (for the taxes) and the East India Company (for the tea) were paid for damages suffered. This was a severe act which put many out of work and motivated the other colonies to send relief supplies and unite in support.

For more information, visit the Old South Meeting House web site:

www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org

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