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The Liberty Tree was already matured when Annapolis residents staged their own tea party and burned the vessel "Peggy Stewart" in 1774. The tulip poplar has survived a bolt of lightning and an explosion of gunpowder within its trunk. Liberty Trees were designated as meeting places to protest British actions. Under the branches of the Liberty Tree in Annapolis, the Sons of Liberty met to hear Samuel Chase and other patriot orators. Annapolis residents also gathered there to determine whether or not people who had not joined the association of patriots should be driven out of the colony. Under the Liberty Tree the first Methodist sermon was given in Maryland on July 11, 1722.
On September 16, 1999, Hurricane Floyd hit Annapolis, dumping 12 inches of rain and thrashing the area with 65 mph winds. Thousands of trees were downed or damaged, including the Liberty Tree at St. John's College. The last of the Liberty Trees under which patriots met to plan the American Revolution, the tulip poplar at St. John's was probably 400 years old. When a series of experts determined that the tree could not be saved, the college reluctantly made the decision to take it down.