Town &Country Magazine, June 1774.
New York, April 25. On Monday last advice was received from Philadelphia, that captain Chambers of the London, of this port, had taken on board at the port of London, eighteen boxes of fine tea, which were regularly cleared, and the mark and numbers were taken from the cocket by Capt. All, of Philadelphia. As Capt. Chambers was one of the first who refused to take the India Company's tea on freight the last summer, for which he received the thanks of the citizens, they could not believe that he knew of the teas being on board, and therefore supposed it to have been shipped by some ministerial tool, under another denomination, in order to injure the owners, or the reputation of the master, or to make an experiment of this mode of introducing the teas to America. The committee and the inhabitants were therefore determined to examine into the matter with great vigilance.
In the night the long expected tea ship, Nancy, Lockyer, arrived at Sandy Hook, without her mizzen mast and one of her anchors, which were lost in a gale of wind the 2nd inst. when her main mast was sprung and thrown on her beam ends. Letters being delivered to him by the pilot from sundry gentlemen of this city, informing him of the determinate resolution of the citizens not to suffer the tea on board of his ship to be landed, he requested the pilot to bring him up to procure necessaries and make a protest, but they would not do it till leave was obtained. Early the next morning this was communicated to the committee, and it appearing to them to be the sense of the city that such leave should be granted to him, the ship to remain at the Hook, the pilot was immediately dispatched to bring him up. This intelligence we immediately communicated to the public by an hand bill.
At 6 p.m. the pilot boat returned with Capt. Lockyer on board, and although the people had but a very short notice of it, the wharf was crowded with the citizens, to see the man whose arrival they long and impatiently wished, to give them an opportunity to cooperate with the other colonies. The committee conducted him to the house of the Hon. Henry White, esq; one of the consignees, and there informed Capt. Lockyer that it was the sense of the citizens that he should not presume to go near the custom-house, and to make the utmost dispatch in procuring the necessary articles he wanted for his voyage. To this he answered, "That as the consignees would not receive his cargo, he would not go to the custom-house, and would make all the dispatch he could to leave the city." A committee of observation was immediately appointed to go down in a sloop to the Hook, to remain there near the tea ship till she departs for London.
Wednesday night arrived Capt. Lawrence, from London, who confirmed the account received from Philadelphia, of Capt. Chambers having on board eighteen boxes of fine tea, but could not tell who was the shipper, or to whom it was addressed. Thursday the committee interrogated Capt. Lawrence relative to what he knew of the tea's being on board of captain Chambers when he shewed them a memorandum in his pocket book, which he took from the cocket in the middle of Capt. Chamber's file of papers in the searcher's office at Gravesend, corresponding with the advice transmitted from Philadelphia, except some variation in the mark.
Friday at noon, Capt. Chambers came into the Hook; the pilot asked him if he had any tea on board, he declared he had none. Two of the committee of observation went on board of Capt. Chambers, and informed him of the advices received of his having tea on board, and demanded a sight of all his cocket for tea was not found among them, nor was the mark or number on his manifest.
About 4 p.m. the ship came to the wharf, when she was boarded by a number of citizens. Capt. Chambers was interrogated relative to his having the tea on board, but he still denied it. He was then told it was in vain for him to deny it, for there was good proof of its being on board; for it would be found, as there were committees appointed to open every package, and that he had better be open and candid about it; and demanded the cocket for the tea; upon which he confessed it was on board, and delivered the cocket. The owners and the committee immediately met at Mr. Francis's, where Capt. Chambers was ordered to attend. Upon examining him who was the shipper and owner of the tea, he declared that he was sole owner of it. After the most mature deliberation, it was determined to communicate the whole state of the matter to the people, who were convened near the ship; which was accordingly done.
The Mohawks were preparing to do their duty, at a proper
hour, but the body of the people were so impatient, that before it arrived
a number of them entered the ship, about 8 P.M. took out the tea which was
at hand, broke the cases, and started their contents in the river, without
doing any damage to the ship or cargo. Several persons of reputation were
placed below to keep talley, and about the companion to prevent ill
disposed persons from going below the deck. At 10, the people all
dispersed in good order, but in great wrath against the captain; and it
was not without some risque of his life that he escaped. Saturday, at 8
A.M. all the bells of the city rang.
N.Y. Sons of Liberty notice "To the Public" regarding the impending fate of tea ship "Nancy" and her captain, as depicted in the woodblock carving to the right.