Our Theme for July is THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
After refusing to be taxed without representation, dressing like Mohawk Indians, boarding the loaded ships in Boston Harbor, and throwing the taxed tea overboard, the colonists swore off imported tea from the British and began to drink what they called ‘Liberty Teas’, instead. It was a momentous time, a momentous tea party.
John Adams called this ‘Tea Party’, this moment in time, an “Epocha”.
An Epocha in American History
“This destruction of tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, so intrepid, and so inflexible, and it must have so important consequences and so lasting, that I cannot but consider it as an Epocha in history.” Thus wrote John Adams in his diary the day after the Boston Tea Party. ‘Epocha’ is the Latin word meaning ‘stoppage, fixed point of time,’ and a stoppage and fixed point of time this tea party certainly was, as we all know. John Adams was right.
Americans boldly swore off British imported tea. They invented “Liberty Teas” —- and then went on to design the most beautiful and graceful ships, and the fastest ships ever crafted, the Clipper Ships, to go get their own tea! (Yes, Americans designed these ships!)
Liberty Teas: when the colonists swore off drinking tea imported by the English, they simply put together their own alternative. They formulated tisanes made of dried fruits and flowers. By creating their own infusions, the American colonies made good on that ‘epocha’ they created, called the Boston Tea Party.
We have some new Liberty Teas for you to try for yourself. Dried fruits with flowers, & no caffeine… create your own ‘Epocha’, a stoppage and fixed point of time with your own tea party.
- Blueberry Fruit – caffeine free and blueberry-fruity! Try it iced. Sachets only.
- Strawberry Kiwi – a tisane made of these dried fruits plus apple and hibiscus flowers. Also caffeine free and great iced. Sachets only.
In a few days I will give you a recipe for wonderful, sparkling punch, using these ‘LiberTeas’, but right now, I want to share some excerpts from the stirring speech given by Patrick Henry, speaking before the colonial representatives discussing the terrifying and momentous decision whether to take up arms against the British. I had never read the entire speech before; my imagination was kindled and I was truly inspired. Is anyone so eloquent today? …express their thoughts so strongly yet so courteously?
I think, after reading these excerpts you may be so inspired you will want to try our new American Revolution Tea – this is a Chinese tea just like that thrown overboard into the Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773! It is a historically correct hyson green tea. Try this patriotic brew and experience the tea that colonists loved, yet were willing to throw overboard and destroy rather than kowtow to a power that gave them no say. Loose tea only.
“Give me liberty, or give me death!”
Excerpts from the speech given by Patrick Henry, St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775
“MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings….
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past….
“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? ….
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave….
“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
I think a reading of Patrick Henry’s speech would be a good reminder on Independence Day of our history, and our historic struggle. Amidst hot dogs and fireworks on this day, we forget the brave decisions that had to be made, the immense cliff-edge our forefathers were standing on – success was not guaranteed! Reading Patrick Henry’s speech stirs my heart and gives me a taste of the import of the moment.
Drink your Liberty Tea with a greater measure of gratitude and understanding. I know I will!
Yours for a return to Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,