It’s political convention season, and the so-called Tea Party has been stirring up passions on both sides of the political fence. The group’s name, of course, is taken from the occasion in 1773 when a bunch of irate Bostonians donned Mohawk warrior garb and dumped three shiploads of tea into their harbor to protest British taxation.
A similar but less remembered event took place seven years earlier in North Carolina. At the time, tensions were high over the recently enacted Stamp Act, which levied taxes on legal documents, newspapers, and magazines. Carolinians weren’t particularly receptive to the measure, and in 1766, the militia companies from several counties expressed their discontent by marching to the town of Brunswick and refusing to let a cargo of stamped paper be brought ashore.
For two centuries, colonial American history was written with a focus on New England, and one can only assume that’s the reason the New Hanover Barbecue Party never achieved the historical status of that more famous tea party up in Boston. But, when you think about it, which shows more gumption: disposing of a few crates of tea, or tossing out an entire feast’s worth of barbecue and beer?
Today's installment comes courtesy of Robert Moss, a food writer and restaurant critic for the Charleston City Paper and author of "Barbecue: the History of an American Institution". Follow him on Twitter at @mossr.
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