(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The 1913 Deerfield, Massachusetts, Pageant was documented by the Allen Sisters, who photographed the key moments of the event. This scene was a part of an elaborate "Tory Tea Party" created to illustrate a moment during the Tea Crisis of the 1770s, when opponents to British policy toward the colonies decided to avoid the purchase or consumption of tea. Deerfield had a reputation of being loyal to the crown and its policies, and this episode was staged during the pageant to illustrate that. Here, guests arrived in anticipation of a tea party held by Parson Jonathan Ashley in defiance of the ban. Although this looks like a painting, in fact this was a photograph that was heavily over-painted. The Allens often altered their photographs, both during the development process and after. In doing that, they were typical of all photographers.