“The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor.” Print by N. Currier (1846)
Polly Sumner arrives in Boston aboard one of the tea ships; colonists see the tea shipment as a test of England’s right to tax them, and they dump the tea into the harbor to prevent it from being taxed.
1777 print depicting the British ministry forcing tea and imperial rule down America’s throat. Source: New York Public Library
Parliament passes the Intolerable Acts to make Boston pay for the tea. The port of Boston is closed; more British troops are sent to Boston; martial Law is declared; the Massachusetts Provincial Congress meets in defiance of General Gage and begins to prepare for the possibility of war. Polly Sumner worries that the possibility of war is very real.
July 18, 1776
Bostonians celebrating the reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony of the Old State House. Mural by Charles Hoffbauer (1942)
The Declaration of Independence is read publicly, for the first time in Boston, from the balcony of the Old State House, to a large, enthusiastic crowd. Polly Sumner celebrates along with the others.
Portrait of Polly Sumner in her current outfit (Photographer and date unknown)
Polly Sumner joins the collection of the Old State House. After having been the cherished playmate of five generations of the Sumner/Williams/Langley family, Polly begins a new career as a museum artifact teaching young people about our common history and founding values as a nation.