Polly Sumner Doll
Conventional & Controversial Cargo
On December 16, 1773, Bostonians destroyed tea from three merchant ships in an act of political protest that we call the “Boston Tea Party.” However, the “detestable” tea was not the only cargo on board. Books, dolls, and other goods that connected Boston to the wider world were unloaded and sold in the town before the tea was destroyed.
Visit Old South Meeting House to view some of this conventional and controversial cargo from Revolutionary Spaces’ collection, including:
- “Polly Sumner” Doll (reproduction)
- Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
- Tea believed to have been found in the boots and pockets of Tea Party participant Col. John Crane
Named after her original owner, the Polly Sumner doll was brought ashore from the Dartmouth and sold at a shop across from the Old South Meeting House on December 16, 1773—the very day of the Boston Tea Party. The 250-year-old doll is currently part of Revolutionary Spaces’ expansive collection.
Learn more about the reproduction of the Polly Sumner doll, which was created by Janet Cordell and made possible through the generous support of Richard C. Wiggin and Agnes Connors.