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Westford Museum: The Dedication of. Captain Joseph Read, Boston Tea Party Participant Memorial


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WESTFORD — Linda Director Linda Greene shared the following press release with WestfordCAT for publication.

The Westford Cemetery Commission and the Westford Museum & Historical Society in partnership with the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, will place a commemorative marker at the gravesite of Boston Tea Party participant, Captain Joseph Read.

Capt. Read became a prominent man in Westford, MA which he represented for 20 years in the General Court. He took part in the famous Boston Tea Party, an act of protest regarded by many as the spark that ignited the American Revolution. Captain Joseph Read also served the town of Westford as delegate to go to the provincial Congress. He was a man of distinction and it is our honor to recognize his service.

“He [Joseph] took an active part in the interest of the Colonists against the English regression and was one of ‘The Boston Tea Party’ that helped empty a ship load of tea into Boston harbor as a resentment of the English tax they had put on it and undertaken to make the colonists pay. It appears from the record that he and his five sons served in the revolutionary war to gain our liberty of free government from the English self-imposed yoke.” –Axel H. Reed,

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by American colonists against Britain for imposing taxation without representation. The patriots dumped 342 chests of tea imported by the British East India Company into the harbor.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is gearing up to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party on December 16th, 2023. In honor of this important anniversary, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and Revolution 250 are working together to commemorate the actions of the Boston Tea Party participants by placing commemorative markers at the graves of known Boston Tea Party participants throughout New England and the nation.

This project began in 2018 as the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum worked with the City of Boston and the Historic Burying Grounds Initiative to place these commemorative markers at the graves of Boston Tea Party participants in the burying grounds along Boston’s Freedom Trail. This project was very successful in Boston—with great feedback from visitors—and the media interest was substantial. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and garnered more than 200 million impressions across 173 worldwide media outlets!

Since the inception of this project, The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum has placed markers and held ceremonies in Cohasset, MA, Boston, MA, Lynn, MA, Gardner, MA, Sturbridge, MA, Harvard, MA, Medford, MA, Worcester, MA. and NOW Westford MA. We are in the process of working with many more municipalities to place the remaining markers across the Commonwealth in 2022.

The mission of the Westford Historical Society is to promote the understanding and appreciation of Westford’s unique history to the community. By providing programming that features aspects of the daily lives, activities and achievements of Westford residents, we strive to expand and enrich understanding of how our town continues to evolve. We foster an environment of teaching and learning that strengthens our sense of community. We will collect, preserve and exhibit documents, photographs, objects and sites historically significant to Westford, and encourage outside efforts to do the same.

The event will be held on Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Fairview Cemetery.

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