Did you know? In 1773 the English East India Company sent 70,000 pounds of tea to Charleston. Despite protests, the tea was not destroyed, as in Boston, but safely stored in the Exchange and in 1776 it was sold and consumed. Mistakenly overlooked, the Charleston tea story has much to tell us about Charleston’s unique role in the Revolution and colonists’ dueling impulses to boycott OR consume tea.
On December 5, in a program hosted in partnership between the Foundation and The Old Exchange, join us for a talk with Dr. James R. Fichter, an associate professor of European and American studies at the University of Hong Kong. His book, Tea: Consumption, Politics and Revolution, 1773-1776, (on shelves December 15th) focuses heavily on the story of the East India Company tea sent to Charleston in 1773. Dr. Fichter’s work incorporates new research that reveals Charleston merchants’ efforts to secure the tea’s survival in 1773 and the State of South Carolina’s previously unknown sale of that tea in 1776. The book argues that the Charleston Tea Party, the “Tea Party That Wasn’t,” was more representative of colonists’ attitudes toward tea than the Boston Tea Party was. It also suggest that the later-day casting of Boston as bravely Patriotic for its Tea Party and of Charleston as having “failed” to destroy its tea was a result of post-independence public memory and propaganda.
at The Old Exchange, 122 East Bay Street, 6 – 7 pm
Challenge your knowledge and explore new research about Charleston’s role in the American Revolution in this exclusive program on December 5. The lecture will take place upstairs in The Old Exchange building at 122 East Bay Street. This lecture is open to the public with a suggested donation of $20 per person. Capacity is limited, so please register ahead of time to ensure a seat.