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New York Tea Party, New-York Gazette, April 25, 1774

New-York Gazette article regarding New York tea party

New-York Gazette article regarding New York tea party

New York State Library, NYSL_NYGazette_19740425
 
Document Description
New York tea party article from the New-York Gazette, April 25, 1774.
 
Transcription
New York, April 25
 
          On Monday last Advice was received from Philadelphia, that Capt. Chambers of the Ship London, of this Port, had taken on Board at the Port of London, 18 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 Tea being on board, and therefore supposed it to have been shipt 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, Capt. Lockyer, arrived at Sandy Hook, without here Mizen Mast and one of her anchors, which were lost in a Gale of Wind the ad Instant, when her Main Top Mast was sprung and thrown on her Beam Ends.  Letters were being delivered to him by the Pilot, from sundry Gentlemen of this City, informing him of the determined Revolution 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 to make 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 was immediately communicated to the Public by an Hand Bill.  At 6 PM the Pilot Boat returned with Capt. Lockyer on board, and altho’ 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 Co-operate with the other colonies.  The Committee conducted him to the House of the Hon. Henry White, Esq, on of the Congress, 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 Congress could 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 to the 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 Accout received form Philadelphia, of Capt. Chambers having on board 18 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 know of the Tea’s being on board of Capt. Chambers, when he showed them a Memorandum in his Pocket Book, which he took from the Cockeet, 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.  This Morning the following Hand Bill was distributed. 
          To the Public
“The Sense of the City relative to the Landing of India Company’s Tea, being signified to Capt. Lockyer, but he Committee, nevertheless it is the Desire of a Number of the Citizens, that at his Departure from hence, he should see, with his own Eyes, their Detestation of the Measures pursued by the Ministry and the India Company, to enslave this Country.  This will be declared by the Convention of the People at his Departure from this City, which will be on next Saturday Morning, about nine o’Clock, when no Doubt, every Friend to this Country will attend.  The Bells will give the Notice about an Hour before he embarks from Murray’s Wharf. “
          New –York, April 21, 1774
          By Order of Committee
          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 Captain Chambers, and informed him of the Advice received of his having Tea on board, and demanded a sight of all of his Cockets, which was accordingly given them, but the Cocket for the Tea was not found among them, nor was the Mark or Number on his Manifest.
          About 4 PM the Ship came to the Wharf, when she was boarded by a Number of the Citizens. Capt. Chambers was interrogated relative to his having the Tea on board, but he still denied it.  He was then told it was vain 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 ad 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.  Uon 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 communicated the whole State of the Matter to the People, who were convened near the Ship, about 8 PM took out the Tea, which was at Hand, broke the Cases and started their Contents into 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 AM all the Bells of the City rang pursuant to the Notice published on Thursday.  About 9, the greatest Number of People were collected at and near the Coffee-House, that was ever known in this City.  As a Quarter past Nine the Committee came out of the Coffee House with Captain Lockyer, upon which the Band of Musick attending, played, God save the King.  Immediately there was a Call for Captain Chambers --- where is he? Where is he? Capt. Lockyer must not go till we find Capt. Chambers to send him with the Tea Ship.  This produced Marks of Fear in Capt. Lockyer, who imagining some Mischief was intended him, but upon Assurance being given him to the contrary, he appeared composed.  The Committee with the Musick, conducted him through the Multitude, to the End of Murray’s Wharf, where he was put on board the Pilot Boat, and wished a safe Passage, upon which the Multitude gave loud Huzza’s, and many Guns were fired, expressive of their Joy at his Departure.  The Committee of Observation at the Hook, have Cognizance of him till a fair Wind offers for his Departure from thence.  Thus to the great Mortification of the Secret and open Enemies of America, and the Joy of all the Friends of Liberty and human Nature, the Union of these Colonies is maintained in a Contest of the utmost Importance to their Safety and Felicity.
 
 
 
Questions
How does Captain Chambers account of the contents of his ship change through the course of the article?  Why does his account change?
 
How do the people of New York show their feelings about the tea on Captain Chamber’s ship? 
 
Providing evidence from the text, what differences were there in the experiences of Captain Chambers and Captain Lockyer in New York?  Why did they have different experiences?
 
What evidence in the text show that the citizens of New York support what the citizens of Boston had done the previous year?
 
What is the overall purpose of this document?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Research other ways that colonists showed solidarity with people from other colonies.  Is there evidence of “tea parties” in other colonies?  What other ways did colonists from across the thirteen colonies support actions that showed rebellion toward British policies? 
 
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a narrative of the events at Murray’s Wharf during the “Tea Party” from two perspectives: Captain Chamber’s and a “Mohawk’s.”
 
Art: Draw a picture depicting the scene at Murray’s Wharf during the “Tea Party” and/or removal of Captain Chambers from New York. 
 
 

Historical Context
Throughout the 1700s, American colonists increasingly rebelled against British policies. By 1774, economic restrictions that the British placed on colonists had angered them to the point of open rebellion. The Boston Tea Party in late 1773 inspired a similar event in New York in April of 1774.  In an attempt to hurt Britain financially, the citizens of New York refused to buy tea from the British East India Company.  In response to tea from this company arriving in their port, the citizens of New York openly discarded the tea into the river. 
 
 
Essential Question
What were some of the ways that colonists expressed their opinions about and debated social and political issues in the years leading up to the Revolution?
 
Check for Understanding
 After completing the Written Document Analysis graphic organizer, students should answer the following questions with evidence from the document.
 
How did the citizens of New York express their dissatisfaction with British policies during years leading up to the American Revolution?  Does the author of this document support those actions or show dislike for those actions?