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Princeton Had Their Own Tea Party? Yep and We’ve All the Tea on the Situation!



a harbor filled with boats


Everyone knows about the famous Boston Tea Party, but did you know days later, on a cold night in January, 1774, Princeton College students had their own demonstration against the King?  TRUE!

The students broke into the College’s storeroom, and then, as described by student Charles Beatty, “gathered all the steward’s winter store of tea and having made a fire on the campus we there burned near a dozen pound, tolled the bell, and made many spirited resolves.” 

They also made an effigy of Massachusetts Governor Hutchinson, tied a tea canister around its neck, and burned it in front of Nassau Hall. Students subsequently continued their agitations, including paying nocturnal visits in groups of 40 to local townspeople rumored to be tea drinkers, seizing their stock of tea, and burning it!

a group of people posing for a photo

(Did you know the pair of sycamore trees standing on the Maclean House lawn are called the “Stamp Act trees?  TRUE!  They were planted in celebration of the repeal of the Stamp Act and were vigorous saplings when Washington’s troops scattered three British regiments at the Battle of Princeton!  TRUE!)

a large tree in front of a building


Philadelphia has done a better job of marketing her significance during the Revolutionary War but ask any real historian and they’ll tell you, Princeton was the reason for the revolutionary season!