On November 28, 1773 the Dartmouth along with two other British East Company ships Beaver and Eleanor arrived at Griffin's Wharf in Boston carrying tea.
On December 16, a large group of men arrived at the harbor disguised as Native Americans planning to throw the chests of tea into the water as a revolt to the Tea Act.
Their commander ordered them to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard. The men started by cutting and splitting the chest with their tomahawks. British armed ships were surrounding them, but they made no attempt to resist them.