Boston Tea Party Ships Museum

Boston Tea Party Ship

The Boston Tea Party was one of the most significant events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. To the Colonists the tea the ships carried represented the tyranny of an uncaring English King. The Sons of Liberty sent that tea to the bottom of the harbor in order to send a strong message to the King. A year later the Colonies would be in a fight for their independence.

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is dedicated to recreating these magnificent ships that were icons of the times. Located in the Boston Harbor, it is the perfect spot to recreate history. Visitors can explore the ships for an up close and personal look at life on board a ship in the late 1700s. The Museum will be a host the to a full size replica of each ship.

The Dartmouth was of American origin. It was built in Nantucket by the Rotch family. The family owned a large whaling company and produced many such ships. The wooden whaler was built in 1773. It was the first of the three ships to arrive in Boston Harbor. It had sailed to London to drop off a shipment of whale oil, and returned as part of the tea flotilla.

The Beaver was a schooner. It too was owned by the Rotch family, but Danish built. The ship was designed to fight fires and fish. It was the last of the ships to arrive after an outbreak of small pox left it quarantined for two weeks in the outer harbor. Much of the recreation of this ship is being based on another ship the same size and style that was built in a neighboring shipyard the same year.

The Eleanor was owned by a Boston merchant. There are no existing plans from the ship. All that is recorded are her tonnage figures and the fact that she was fully rigged. The Eleanor's design in based on like ships that were from the London area. She was the second of the three ships to arrive. She was owned by John Rowe, a Boston merchant. The replica will be fully outfitted complete with rigging.

Visiting these historic ship replicas can help people connect with history. By seeing how the ships looked, felt and even smelt it brings home the tensions of the times. It helps people understand the difficult and significance of boarding these ships and dumping their cargo into the harbor.