“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenwich in Cumberland County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Hot Tea

Greenwich Tea Burning Monument

— Maritime History —

Hot Tea Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
1. Hot Tea Marker
Inscription.  In the winter of 1774, the American colonies were struggling to define their future relationship with Great Britain. The British tax on tea had sparked the 1773 Boston Tea Party. The harsh response, to close the port of Boston, lead to the First Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. Congress’s non-importation, non-exportation agreement asked colonists not to buy or sell goods from the mother country as a way of putting economic pressure on England. Not far from this spot, in the dark of night on December 22, 1774, some residents of Cumberland County demonstrated their agreement with this recommendation by burning a cargo of British tea.

New Jersey and Independence

When fighting broke out in April 1775, New Jersey was ready. Despite opposition, infantry was raised to support the fledgling army. During the winter, a voice for the American cause was heard in the “Plain Dealer” posted at Potter’s Tavern in Bridgeton.

As in other American colonies, opinion was split over how to respond to the problems with Great Britain. Many believed good relations could be restored. Others felt
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that independence was the only solution.

In July, 1776, New Jersey joined the other colonies with her vote for Independence.
Erected by National Park Service, State of New Jersey Division of Parks and History.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1775.
Location. 39° 23.3′ N, 75° 20.3′ W. Marker is in Greenwich, New Jersey, in Cumberland County. Marker is at the intersection of Ye Greate Street and Market Street on Ye Greate Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenwich NJ 08323, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Greenwich Tea Burning Monument (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Greenwich Township (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gibbon House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Stone Tavern (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wood House (approx. half a mile away); Little Stone School (approx. one mile away); Baptist Log Meeting House (approx. 4.1 miles away); These Patriots (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenwich.
Regarding Hot Tea. Caption, first picture:
Located sixe miles from the mouth of the Cohansey River, Greenwich was the first town reached by ships traveling
Hot Tea Marker and the Greenwich Tea Burning Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
2. Hot Tea Marker and the Greenwich Tea Burning Monument
up river. Before the Revolution, it was a prosperous trade community. This is a detail from a 1778 map.

Caption, second picture:
In mid December, tea from the brig “Greyhound” was stored in the Greenwich home of a known British sympathizer for protection. (Drawing is of a similar brig).

Caption, third picture:
On December 22, 1774, Greenwich conducted a general town meeting to discuss the recommendations of the first Continental Congress. It was decided that they would enforce the agreement. Sometime during the night, the cargo of British tea was taken from storage and burned in the middle of Market Square.

Caption, fourth picture:
Twice, men were charged with destroying the British tea. Even with a Tory judge and sheriff, the juries were unable to indict the defendants – underscoring a growing allegiance with those supporting independence.

Caption, fifth picture:
The 134th anniversary of the tea burning in Greenwich was commemorated in 1908 with a monument erected in Market Square, not far from where the fire was lit for liberty.

Graphic Images courtesy of Cumberland County Historical Society, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Salem Maritime NHP.
Also see . . .  New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.
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National Park Service website. (Submitted on August 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 7, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,069 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 6, 2009, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 23, 2024