Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    [Boston Tea Party]: One of the Rarest and Most Significant Broadsides from the Period Leading up to the War for Independence.
    The broadside offered here is of the greatest historical importance, as it documents one of the first manifestations of organized resistance to British injustices. The language employed in reporting each stage of the two-day deliberations sheds an amazing light on the anger and frustration which had developed among the Boston citizenry. Unrecorded in the major bibliographies, it is believed to be one of at most several known examples. Its only appearance at auction that we have been able to discover was in one of the legendary 1969 Streeter sales (item 277), where it sold for what was then a very substantial price, $960. Certainly it ranks as one of the most significant and desirable broadsides it has been our privilege to present.

    Display appearance is excellent. As might be expected it has been professionally cleaned, and has received minor restoration as needed, notable along part of the original fold lines. Elegantly custom framed to 17.5" x 24".

    Please see the website presentation of this lot for more details about this lot.

    More Information: [Boston Tea Party]. Postscript to the Pennsylvania Gazette, Thursday Evening, December 9, 1773.  Broadside (blank-backed). 1 sheet, 16" x 19", Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, No. 2346.
    Extremely rare, unrecorded blank-backed broadside relating to the Boston Tea Party.  This is a broadside version of a December 9, 1773 postscript or "extra" of the Pennsylvania Gazette, which reprinted news from another broadside printed in Boston by Edes and Gill on December 1 of that year. This broadside conveyed news of meetings in Boston on November 29-30, 1773 called by Samuel Adams "for the Purpose of consulting, advising and determining upon the most proper and effectual Method to prevent the unloading, receiving or vending the detestable TEA sent out by the East-India Company." This meeting, the first large scale organized meeting of residents of Boston and surrounding towns opposed to the British government's tea tax and the East India Company's monopoly of the tea trade with the American colonies, was the first of several that ultimately resulted in the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773.
    In 1767, the British government had passed the Townshend Acts that imposed duties on various products imported into the British colonies. This measure generated such a storm of protest and noncompliance that it was repealed in 1770, except for the duty on tea. The tea tax was retained by Great Britain's Parliament to demonstrate to the colonies that it had the right to raise such revenue without their approval.  In Boston, Massachusetts, merchants circumvented the act by selling tea smuggled in by Dutch traders. In response to the smuggling of tea into the colonies, Parliament in 1773 passed a Tea Act designed to aid the financially troubled East India Company by granting it a monopoly on all tea exported to the colonies, an exemption on the export tax, and a refund on duties owed on certain surplus quantities of tea in its possession. The measure stipulated that tea sent to the colonies was to be carried only in East India Company ships and sold only through its own agents, thus bypassing independent colonial shippers and merchants. This meant that the East India Company could sell the tea at a lower price in either America or Britain, undercutting colonial merchants.
    The Tea Act caused an uproar in the American colonies, especially in Massachusetts.  Outraged colony merchants, usually a conservative-leaning group, formed an alliance with radicals led by Samuel Adams and other members of the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization created to fight taxation by the British government. Adams, second cousin of John Adams, member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and future signor of the Declaration of Independence, and local committees of correspondence led the opposition against the Tea Act, declaring that anyone who aids or abets the unloading receiving or selling the tea was an enemy to America.  Massachusetts, the only American colony that was unable to force tea agents and ships carrying tea to return to England, thus became the hotbed of dissent against the Tea Act.  The Dartmouth was the first of three tea ships to arrive in Boston Harbor. The ship's arrival on Sunday, November 28, 1773, led Adams to call the first large-scale organized meeting to discuss the "tea crisis" at Faneuil Hall on the next day, Monday, November 29. The meeting, organized by the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty, both of which were under the leadership of Adams, drew thousands from Boston and surrounding towns. 
    As announced in this postscript to the Pennsylvania Gazette, the November 29 meeting began with a resolution, which passed, stating that the assembled colonists would "to the utmost of their power prevent the landing of the Tea." The gathering attracted such a large crowd that the meeting had to be quickly relocated to the Old South Meeting House, the largest public building in Boston, because Faneuil Hall could not accommodate all who wished to attend. The meeting continued into the next day, November 30.  Both the owner and captain of the Dartmouth were present at the meeting and were directed not to unload their shipment of tea.  The assembly also resolved to appoint a corps of volunteers to watch the ship and others at all times to make sure that tea was not unloaded.  Copies of the proceedings were ordered to be sent to New York and Philadelphia. Thomas Hutchinson, Royal governor of Massachusetts, refused entreaties by Adams and his followers to send back any tea carrying ships to England without paying duties. Two more ships, the Eleanor and the Beaver, soon joined the Dartmouth in Boston Harbor.
    This meeting announced in this broadside was the first of several that culminated in the Boston Tea Party, one of the most famous pre-Revolutionary acts carried out by American colonists against the British Crown. The Boston Tea Party, protesting both the tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company, took place on December 16, 1773, and involved a group of about 60 men disguised as Mohawk Indians, encouraged by a large crowd of their fellow colonists, throwing 342 chests of tea belonging to the company into Boston Harbor.  The chests of tea thrown overboard were valued as £18,000.
    Postscripts to the Pennsylvania Gazette served as an "extra" to the newspaper and varied in length from one to two pages on a single sheet.  The newspaper was founded by Samuel Keimer in 1728 under the cumbersome name of The Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences: and Pennsylvania Gazette. On October 1729 Benjamin Franklin and his partner Hugh Meredith purchase the paper from Keimer, and shortened its title to the Pennsylvania Gazette. Under Franklin and Meredith's control, the paper was published twice a week, contained news and reports on public events, and increased its number of subscribers. The paper differed from others at the time in that it published essays and letters from readers, much of which was written by Franklin himself under pseudonyms. In 1748, Franklin retired from business to dedicate all his time to science and public projects. The Pennsylvania Gazette ceased publication in 1800, ten years after Franklin's death.
    This is an exceptionally rare, unrecorded broadside. This item is not listed in World Cat. 
    Condition: The broadside is in fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,442

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on May 4, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 June 8 - 9 Books Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search