For 250 years, Polly has taught these lessons. first as a playmate to five generations of the same family, then as a museum piece to many thousands of young visitors to the Old State House in Boston. Polly became a member of the Sumner/Williams family shortly after she arrived in Boston with the Tea. According to Williams family lore, Polly was purchased by Mrs. Polly (Sumner) Williams shortly after the dumping of the tea, and became the beloved playmate of five generations of Williams children.
She watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the rooftop of the Auchmuty House in Roxbury, saw George Washington inspecting colonial entrenchments during the Siege of Boston, and waved to Lafayette during his Grand Tour 50 years later. After being exhibited with some celebrity as a historic treasure during the late nineteenth century, she joined the collection of the Old State House in 1919. There, for more than a hundred years, she has inspired children with her unique story.
In 1967, she inspired the young adult novel, Daughter of Liberty, by Edna Boutwell, and now at age 250, she tells her own story in Polly Sumner: Witness to the Boston Tea Party.