To Save This Country

The Boston Tea Party in History

To Save This Country: The Boston Tea Party in History

Join Revolutionary Spaces online as we cover the event that became known as “The Boston Tea Party.” Kicking off the 250th anniversary year of this iconic moment in history, this virtual panel will provide a nuanced basis for which to understand the The Boston Tea Party.

Moderated by Revolutionary Spaces President & CEO Nat Sheidley, acclaimed historians will explore how the events preceding the Boston Tea Party led to this historic occasion. We will then move, moment by moment, through the meeting and the destruction of the tea, providing commentary and insight. We will also discuss the aftermath of December 16, 1773 and its legacy. The panel will conclude an audience Q&A.

A co-production with GBH Forum Network, this program is made possible through the generous support of the Lowell Institute.


Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 6:30 PM

Admission is free.


About the Participants

Dr. Nathaniel Sheidley is the President and CEO of Revolutionary Spaces, an organization that stewards Boston’s Old State House and Old South Meeting House. He was formerly Executive Director of the Bostonian Society and Assistant Professor of American and Native American History at Wellesley College. He is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in American History from Princeton University.

Joseph J. Ellis is one of the nation’s leading scholars of American history. The author of eleven books, Ellis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation and won the National Book Award for American Sphinx, a biography of Thomas Jefferson. His essays and book reviews appear regularly in national publications, such as The New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Chicago TribuneThe New Republic, and The New Yorker. His commentaries have been featured on CBS, CSPAN, CNN, and the PBS’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and he has appeared in several PBS documentaries on early America. Professor Ellis has taught in the Leadership Studies program at Williams College, Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College, and United States Military Academy at West Point.

Benjamin Carp focuses particularly on urban politics, society, and culture in eighteenth-century America. His books include Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America, which won the triennial Society of the Cincinnati Cox Book Prize in 2013; and Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution. He has also written articles for Colonial Williamsburg, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. His desire to pursue a Ph.D. in history began with an article by Alfred F. Young on George Robert Twelves Hewes. Since then, he has written scholarly articles about firefighters and the American Revolution, nationalism during the Revolution and the Civil War, leadership in the work of Edmund S. Morgan, and Quaker merchants in Charleston. He received the Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2005), the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2003) and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (1998). Prior to joining Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, he taught at the University of Edinburgh and Tufts University.

Sarah Purcell is the L.F. Parker Professor of History at Grinnell College and previously taught at Central Michigan University. She is author of Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, and Eyewitness History: The Early American Republic. She is co-author of The Encyclopedia of Battles in North America, 1517-1915 (which won a 2000 Best of Reference award from the New York Public Library) and Critical Lives: The Life and Work of Eleanor Roosevelt. She recently released a new book, Spectacle of Grief: The Politics of Mourning and the U.S. Civil War.

J.L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He maintains the Boston 1775 blog, offering daily helpings of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England. He is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War.

Close-up of a teapot and teacup in the Council Chamber at Old State House.

Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary

This year, Revolutionary Spaces is commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, which took place at Old South Meeting House on December 16, 1773. This public program is made possible through the generous support of our Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary Commemoration Transformational Partner: Meet Boston Foundation.