|Blogger: Amber Schamel
When my family and I visited Boston this past fall, we had the pleasure of seeing the Boston Tea Party museum. It's a fantastic place with actors bringing the characters and events of the past to life. If you ever get a chance to go, this museum is worth the stop!
During the night of the Boston Tea Party, the 'Indians' used tomahawks to break open the chests of tea and throw the contents into the harbor. They were thorough in their work. The tea chests were demolished and only slats of wood remained, floating in the foamy harbor. Of the 340 chests destroyed, only two survived. A teenager by the name of John Robinson spotted one of them half buried in sand while walking along the shore the next morning. He took it home and put it in a storage space underneath the stairs. It survived the war in that hiding place and has been passed down in the Robinson family for generations. Someone painted flowers on one side, someone else etched a game board into the bottom. It was used as a doll house, and even a nest for a litter of kittens. But the Robinson family diligently kept the story of the chest alive and passed the history and artifact along. In 2012, the chest became a part of the Tea Party Museum upon its grand opening.
|Tea Chest Exhibit at Boston Tea Party Museum.
So how do we know this chest is an actual East India Company artifact that was indeed a part of the tea party? Fair question. Besides the oral history of the chest as provided by the Robinson family, there is also a letter and affidavit from one of the recipients of the crate. Helen Ford Waring, who inherited the crate from her mother, had a specific fascination with the relic and traced its path back up the family tree to John Robinson. This information proved valuable when the Smithsonian Institute contacted the family in regards to the artifact. In addition, forensic testing revealed traces of the salt-water from Boston harbor, and period accurate wood and nails, confirming the oral legend of the box. Thus, the Robinson Tea Chest stands as one of the most interesting artifacts of the Boston patriots.
|Replica of the Robinson Chest
If you'd like to learn more about how the box was passed down through the years, you can read more details on the museum website: https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/partners/a-box-worth-keeping
Do you have any heirlooms or artifacts passed down in your family? I'd love to hear about them!
Two-time winner of the Christian Indie Award for historical fiction, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by !