The Burning of Peggy Stewart by Francis Blackwell Mayer
Maryland Commission on Artistic Property, MSA SC 1545-1111
The Burning
of the Peggy Stewart

In May 1773, the English Parliament passed the Tea Act which meant that colonists would have to pay a tax on tea from England. The colonists were angry and the people of Boston reacted by dumping tea, loaded on an English ship, into the Boston harbor-- The Boston Tea Party .

On October 15, 1774, the ship Peggy Stewart sailed into the Annapolis harbor. It was owned by Anthony Stewart who had named it after his daughter Peggy. The ship carried more than 2,300 pounds of tea. Before there was a chance to unload the ship, the tea was discovered. The news spread and the people of Annapolis were angry. Mr. Stewart apologized, but it didn't matter to the colonists.

Because Stewart felt there was danger to his family, he ordered the crew to sail the ship aground in full sight of Annapolis. Then he set it afire. The tea was never landed on Maryland soil and the Maryland colonists had made their point: they wanted a government in the colony, not a government from England.

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© Copyright March 3, 1998, Office of the Secretary of State.
Last Modified October 04, 2002 .