The South Carolina Gazette reported on the dramatic confrontation between the colonists and British sea captain Samuel Ball, an agent of the British East India Company.
Full transcript of the article describing the inquiries and the destruction of the tea is below:
CHARLES-TOWN, November 7, 1774.
The same Day arrived here, in the Ship Britannia, Capt. Samuel Ball, jun. from London (amongst a Number of other Passengers) Samuel Carne, Esq; formerly of this Town; Thomas Attwood, Esq; appointed Chief-Justice of His Majesty’s Bahama-Islands; the Hon. William Gregory, appointed to succeed the late John Muray, Esq; as an assistant-judge and Justice of His Majesty's Courts in the Colony, and also to a Seat in the Council; Edward Lowndes, Esq; Mr. Gray, Mr. Peele, Mrs. McDonogh, Widow of the late Capt. Terence McDonogh, and Family; Mrs. And Miss Andrews; Mr. Wrong, of Barbados; James Cusack, Esq; and Mrs. Casack; Mr. Zephaniah Kinsley, Merchant; Mr. and Mrs. Holliday.
Before Captain Ball had been many Hours in Port, the Committee of Observation were informed, that he had Seven Chests of Tea on board, subject to that Duty which all America have denied to be constitutionally imposed; and the Minds of the People appeared to be very much agitated. To allay the Ferment which there seemed reason to apprehend, that Committee met early on Wednesday Morning, sent for Captain Ball, who readily attended, and, after expressing to him their Concerns and Astonishment at his Conduct, acquainted him, it was expected the said Teas should not be landed here. He acknowledged having the mischievous Drug on board;---- That 3 chests were shipped frm the House of Messrs. Rofs & Mill, --- and 4 from Messrs. James Graham and Comp.----That 3 were consigned to Mr. Robert Lindsay,--- 3 to Mr. Zephaniah Kinsley, and 1 to Mr. Robert Mackenzie, all Merchants here: --- But declared, that he was an entire Stranger to their being on board his Ship, ‘till he was ready to clear out, when he discovered that his Mate had received them in his Absence: --- That, as seen as he made the Discovery, he did all in his Power to get them relanded, but all his Endeavours, for two Days together, proving ineffectual, he entered the following Protest; which he hoped would acquit him from the Suspicion of having any Design to act contrary to the Sense of the People here, or the Voice of all America.
Copy of the PROTEST.
ON the 29th Day of August, 1774, Before me, David Ewart, Notary-Public, sworn and admitted, dwelling in London, personally appeared, Samuel Ball, jun. Master of the Ship Britannia, now cleared out from London for Charles-Town, South-Carolina, and requested me, Notary, to protest, as by these Presents, I do protest, against the shippers of Three Half-Chests and Four Quarter-Chests of Tea, by the said Ship, without the Knowledge or Consent of him appears, or any application to him in Respect thereof.--- Witness my Nortorial Firm and Seal, the Day and Year above-written.
Samuel Ball, jun.
These are to certify, That Samuel Ball, jun. came personally before me, one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Said Country, and made Oath, that the Contents of the above Protest is just and true.
Sworn before me, this, 31st of August 1774., Sam. Ball, jun.
Capt. Ball having so far acquitted himself of any design to counteract the Americans, the Committee of Observation made their Report to a very full Meeting of the General Committee the same Evening: when the Importers of the Teas attended, and severally declared, that they were ready and willing to do any Thing, which the Committee should be of Opinion would most effectually contribute to preserve the Peace and Quiet of the Community. Accordingly,
On Thursday at Noon, an Oblation was made to Neptune, of the said seven chests of Tea, by Messrs. Lindsay, Kinsley and Mackenzie themselves; who going on board the Ship in the Stream, with their own Hands respectively stove the Chests belong to each, and emptied their Contents into the River, in the Presence of the Committee of Observation, who likewise went on board, and in View of the whole General Committee on the Shore besides numerous Concourse of People, who gave three hearty Cheers after the emptying of each Chest, and immediately after separated as if nothing had happened.
Last Wednesday arrived the Diligence Packet-Boat, Capt. John Forgie, with the Mails from Jamaica and Pensacola.
Thursday last six Chests of Bohea TEA, containing 669 lb. net, which had lately been smuggled into this Town, were re-shipped for the Port from whence they were brought, with a Caution to the Shipper to venture no more this Way: --- This proves that We do not reject the dutied Teas, in order to countenance the Importation of others.