The Edenton Tea Party shocked the British. In the 1700s, women were prohibited from voting and formal decision-making within their communities in both Britain and the colonies. Women just did not sign petitions and send them to the King.

A series of political cartoons and caricatures released in England reflected the common British perception that the women of Edenton were uncontrollable. After hearing the news of the Edenton Tea Party while in London, North Carolina Royalist Arthur Iredell wrote a letter to his brother and asked him sarcastically: "Pray are you becoming patriotic? ... Is there a Female Congress at Edenton, too?"

On this side of the Atlantic, however, the Edenton Tea Party won the affections of many. Up to this point, men had felt their spouses, mothers, sisters, and daughters were blocking the development of a distinctly American culture. It was said that the colonial women would rather put a stop to boycotts than give up drinking English tea or buying British clothes. But the Edenton Tea Party showed that not only were some women willing to stop buying English goods, but also that the Edenton women were bold enough to tell it to King George III.