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The Stamp-Act Repealed

The Stamp-act repealed

Broadside printed by Thomas Green in Hartford on 11 April 1766 when news of the repeal of the Stamp Act reached the city.  Item housed at the Connecticut Historical Society.

          The Stamp Act of 1765 angered British colonists in North America.  Passed by Parliament in London in March 1765, it required that certain paper items like newspapers or playing cards carry a stamp and imposed a tax on these items beginning in November.

          Colonists responded with protests, by organizing as Sons of Liberty, and by threatening the stamp agents.  In Connecticut, Jared Ingersoll, Sr., was stopped by a crowd of people in Wethersfield who demanded that he resign his position.  He did so quickly and announced his decision in Hartford.

          In October 1765, delegates from nine British North American colonies met in New York at what is now called the Stamp Act Congress.  Connecticut sent three delegates: Eliphalet Dyer of Windham; William Samuel Johnson of Stratford; and David Rowland of Fairfield.  The delegates wrote a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" as well as petitions to the King and Parliament.  Connecticut's delegates, though in support of the petitions, did not sign them because they had been instructed only to participate.

          Some London merchants, worried about a boycott of British goods in the colonies, began to support repeal.  Although the act had overwhelmingly passed in Parliament, increased pressure led to its repeal by an equally overwhelming vote in February 1766.  King George III gave his assent in mid-March.

          News of the repeal arrived in the colonies in early April.  The image above and to the left is a broadside, or public announcement, printed by Thomas Green in Hartford.  

          How did news of the repeal reach Connecticut?  According to this document, who sent the news from Great Britain and who decided to spread the news in North America?  How long did it take for the news to spread?  In what ways does the presentation and dissemination of news in 1766 appear to be different when compared to today?  In what ways is it similar?

          When people or organizations are upset with legislation passed by Congress today, how do they voice their concerns?  Do they use tactics that are similar to the ones used by the colonists who resisted the Stamp Act?  How are current techniques different?

The Stamp-Act Repealed