Pictures of the Boston Tea Party memorial
and the Peter Slater grave marker in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, MA
My patriot ancestor is Peter Slater (Born May 2, 1760, Died October 13, 1831). He was a participant in the Boston Tea Party and served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He is buried in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, MA.
The Monument: On July 4, 1870 this monument dedicated in honor of Peter Slater and his fellow participants in the Boston Tea Party. Pictured standing next to the monument is compatriot Andrew Kauffman from the Thomas Jefferson Chapter SAR. This may be the only monument in the country solely dedicated to the Boston Tea Party participants.
The monument is a beautiful obelisk of Italian marble, made by Messrs. Tateum & Horgan, marble workers in Worcester at that time. The monument is four feet square at the base, and thirteen feet high, standing on a foundation of granite. It is located on a conspicuous eminence, on the corner of Chestnut and Aspen avenues, a short distance from the main entrance to Hope cemetery in Worcester, MA. Upon one side of the shaft, fronting Chestnut avenue, are the names of those engaged in the throwing overboard of the tea. Upon other sides of the monument are the names of the family of Capt. Peter Slater, including his mother and his fifteen children, noting the time of their decease, and age.
DAR Plaque: This is a plaque placed graveside by the Boston Tea Party chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Original Headstones: By the side of the monument is the original slate headstone erected over the grave of Capt. Peter Slater at the time of his death, Oct. 13, 1831 aged 72 years, on which is the inscription: “He was one of the number who threw the tea overboard in Boston harbor Dec. 16, 1773, and afterwards served in the Revolutionary army. He was a brave soldier, valuable citizen, and honest man.” By the side of this is a similar headstone to the memory of his wife, Zilpah, who died July 18, 1818, aged 53 years. On another headstone are the names of four sons who died in infancy, or early childhood.
This is the list of names inscribed on the Tea Party memorial:
Peter Slater David Kennerson
Benjamin Tucker Joseph Palmer
Paul Revere James Swan
John Spurr Joseph Mountford
John Dickman Peter McIntosh
Jonathan Parker James Starr
John Brown Josiah Wheeler
George R. T. Hewes Thomas Melville
Joshua Wyeth Ebenezer Stevens
William Russell William Mollineux
John Russell Nathaniel Green
Joseph Bassett. Samuel Peck
Amos Lincoln Lendall Pitts
Henry Purldtt James Brewer
Richard Hunnewell Thomas Bolton
Richard Hunnewell, Jr. Edward Proctor
Jonathan Hunnewell Thomas Gerrish
Nathaniel Frothingham Samuel Sloper
Samuel Gore Wm. Hurdlev
Moses Grant Thomas Spear
Nicholas Campbell Isaac Simpson
Joseph Payson Joseph Lee
Benjamin Rice Thomas Moore
Robert Sessions Daniel Ingollson
Dr. Thomas Young Mathew Loring
Abraham Tower Joseph Eayres
Thomas Porter T. Gammell
Seth Ingersoll Brown S. Howard
Adam Colson Wm. Pierce
Samuel Dolbier Samuel Sprague
Edward Dolbier Benjamin Clark
John Crane John Hooten
Joseph Shedd John Prince
Thomas Chase Thomas Gerrish
S. Coolidge Edward C. Howe
Thomas Urann - - Martin
A brief biography of Peter Slater
Peter Slater was a native of England, born May 2, 1760, son of Peter and Abigail Slater. His father was English and his mother Scotch. His father was captain of a merchant vessel which sailed between England and Boston. While Peter was a small boy, his parents emigrated and his father purchased an estate on Elm Street in Boston. His father was a strong Whig, and endorsed the sentiment that “taxation without representation was tyranny.” This idea was instilled into the mind of his son Peter. In 1766, when Peter was about 6 years old his father died at sea. After attending the public schools in Boston for a few years, Peter was put out to trade at the rope-making business of John Gray, whose rope-walk was on the south side of the Common.
On March 2, 1770, three days before the “Boston Massacre”, there was a skirmish between the British soldiers and the rope-makers. Young Peter, only a boy of 10 years, took part by providing the men with “way-sticks,” which were made of hickory and used in the rope making process.
December 16, 1773 at age 13 he was one of the youngest participants in the Boston Tea Party. The record of the events say that a man by the name of Cotton was found filling his pockets and boots with tea, upon which Peter opened his jackknife and cut off the pockets and pulled off the boots of the selfish, unpatriotic fellow and threw them into the water. Altogether, Peter and the others threw overboard 342 chests of tea, then valued at £18,000, or nearly $100,000, into Boston harbor, on the night of Dec. 16, 1773.
June 17, 1775, Peter was one of the spectators from Boston Heights (Fort Hill) of the battle going on at Bunker Hill. Soon after this battle, Boston being blockaded, he obtained a pass, and, with his mother, moved to Worcester, MA.
April 6, 1777, at 16 years of age, he enlisted for three years in the Continental Army with the rank of Matross, and served three years with Col. Jonathan Holman's Regiment, third Artillery Company under Capt. Wm. Treadwell.
He fought at Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and was with Gen. Washington at Valley Forge (winter of 1777 – 1778) and the battle of Monmouth, (June 28, 1778). He was taken prisoner at the battle of Stony Point (July 15-16, 1779) and often spoke of the small number of men defending the fort at Stony Point for one day and a half, against some three thousand British. When they had spent the last ammunition it was agreed they should surrender as prisoners of war. They marched out of the fort and grounded their arms, with the exception of their side-arms, their number being only seven. The British general could not be satisfied that this small number had done so much duty, and had the fort searched, after which he gave them great credit for their bravery.
They were shipped to New York and imprisoned with 500 other prisoners in a sugar house. He was held for five months before his release as part of a prisoner exchange. He served briefly under Arnold in the Hudson River Valley (this was Arnold’s last command before becoming a traitor at West Point in the summer of 1780). Peter Slater was discharged April 6, 1780 and returned to live in Worcester, MA.
In 1787 he was elected a lieutenant in the old Worcester Artillery Militia Company and was promoted captain under a commission from Gov. Strong in 1812. He was a member of the Board of Selectmen of Worcester for four years, 1818 to 1822, and always took a lively interest in matters pertaining to the welfare and prosperity of the town. He enjoyed remarkably good health throughout his life, never being sick until six months before his death. He was always active and industrious.