While Americans fought for liberty, some of the founding fathers may have had a different Liberty in mind. Smuggler John Hancock and his sloop, yes, you guessed it, Liberty, was seized by custom officials on June 10, 1768.
Over the next year smugglers like Hancock reduced the amount of tea purchased in the colonies from 320,000 pounds to 520 pounds. Boycotts also affect the amount of imports. By 1772 the East India Company has 18 million pounds of unsold tea in warehouses and 1.3 million pounds sterling of debt. Its largest creditor, the Bank of England, refused further credit.
To save the company, and undercut the smugglers, Britain passed the Tea Act. On behalf of John Hancock & other known smugglers, Sam Adams & the Sons of Liberty dumped 342 chests of Tea worth 9,659 pounds sterling & six shillings into Boston harbor.
The Tea Act of 1773 once again inflamed the Northern Radicals although it lowered tea prices. The Radicals were afraid Americans might accept the lower tea prices, which would mean they also accepted the duties (taxation without representation), and put many of the founding fathers out of the business of smuggling tea. Throughout the colonies "tea parties" were held where men turned back ships or boarded them and tossed packaged tea into the harbor. The largest in terms of tea dumped into the sea and the number of men participating was in Boston. Although no "tea party" is held in Georgia (no tea was allocated to Savannah), a somewhat symbolic party was held at the harbor in nearby Charles Town, South Carolina, where a single ship bearing tea was not allowed to weigh anchor.
Northern radicals like John Hancock, Sam Adams and Marinus Willet fanned the flames of rebellion (Adams and Willet were leaders of the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts and New York, respectively). The South did have some men aligned with the northern radicals, like Patrick Henry, but most representatives of the middle and southern colonies like Thomas Jefferson and John Rutledge urged restraint. This occurred because the further south a colony was, the more support it required England.