Edenton Tea Party
On 25 Oct. 1774, at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth King, 51 women from Edenton, including reputed leader Penelope Barker, drew up a resolution to uphold the "particular resolves" drafted by the First Provincial Congress at New Bern exactly two months before. In light of the celebrated Boston Tea Party, which had taken place less than a year before, it was perhaps inevitable that this later occasion would be called the "Edenton Tea Party"-although tea drinking was not mentioned in the ladies' patriotic statement. Their spirited meeting and declaration might have passed unnoticed had not word of it reached London, where the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser published an account of the event on 16 Jan. 1775. Over the years a satirical cartoon accompanying the article has achieved near-icon status.
The 51 signatures to the resolution published by the London paper were long thought to be an authentic list of the signers. Later research, however, has shown some discrepancies in the list. There is little doubt that the meeting did take place, as contemporary letters mentioned it. Some historians consider it probably the "earliest instance of political activity on the part of women" in the American colonies and one of the colorful events that heralded the coming American Revolution. A colonial teapot mounted on a revolutionary cannon marks the site of the Edenton Tea Party.
Elizabeth Vann Moore, Guide Book to Historic Edenton and Chowan County (1977).
Thomas C. Parramore, Cradle of the Colony: The History of Chowan County and Edenton, North Carolina (1967).
"Edenton Tea Party." N.C. Highway Historical Marker A-22, N.C. Office of Archives & History. http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?sp=Markers&k=Markers&sv=A-22
Just Say No—to Tea! The Edenton Tea Party, North Carolina Museum of History: http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/nie08.edenton.tea.party.pdf
Edenton History, Tea Party: http://www.edenton.com/history/miscfact.htm
Edenton Tea Party, LearnNC: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-revolution/4234
Edenton Tea Party, Stories of the American South, UNC: http://www.lib.unc.edu/stories/teaparty/story/remembrance.html
Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.
A Society of Patriotic Ladies, Edenton, NC; Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/96511606/
Virginia Memory, Society of Patriotic Ladies at Edenton, North Carolina, October 25, 1774: http://www.virginiamemory.com/online_classroom/shaping_the_constitution/doc/patriotic_ladies
Edenton Tea Party, US 17 Business (West Queen Street) in Edenton, Chowan County. Image courtesy of State Archives of North Carolina. Available from http://www.ncmarkers.com/marker_photo.aspx?sf=c&id=A-22 (accessed July 25, 2012).
1 January 2006 | Nash, Jaquelin Drane