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46. For every such pamphlet and paper, contained in a half sheet, or any lesser piece of paper, which shall be so printed, a stamp duty of one half-penny for every printed copy thereof.
47. For every such pamphlet and paper, (being larger than half a sheet, and not exceeding one whole sheet) which shall be so printed, a stamp duty of one penny for every printed copy thereof.
48. For every pamphlet and paper, being larger than one whole sheet, and no: exceeding six sheets in octavo, or in a lesser page, or not exceeding twelve sheets in quarto, or twenty sheets in folio, which shall be so printed, a duty after the rate of one shilling for every sheet of any kind of paper which shall be contained in one printed copy thereof.
49. For every advertisement to be contained in any gazette, newspaper, or other paper, or any pamphlet which shall be so printed, a duty of two shillings.
50. For every almanac, or calendar, for any one particular year, or for any time less than a year, which shall be written or printed on one side only of any one sheet, skin, or piece of paper, parchment, or vellum, within the said colonies and plantations, a stamp duty of two pence.
51. For every other almanac, or calendar, for any one particular year, which shall be written or printed within the said colonies and plantations, a stamp duty of four pence.
52. And for every almanac or calendar, written or printed in the said colonies and plantations, to serve for several years, duties to the same amount respectively shall be paid for every such year.
53. For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which any instrument, proceeding, or other matter or thing aforesaid, shall be engrossed, writteo, or printed, within the said colonies and plantations, in any other than the English language, a stamp duty of double the amount of the respective duties before charged thereon.
54. And there shall be also paid, in the said colonies and plantations, a duty of six pence for every twenty shillings, in any sum not exceeding fifty pounds sterling money, which shall be given, paid, contracted, or agreed for, with or in relation to any clerk or apprentice, which shall be put or placed to or with any master or mistress, to learn any profession, trade, or employment. II. And also a duty of one shilling for every twenty shillings, ip any sum exceeding fifty pounds, which shall be given, paid, contracted, or agreed for, with, or in relation to any such clerk or apprentice.
55. Finally, the produce of all the aforementioned duties shall be paid into his majesty s treasury; and there held in reserve, to be used, from time to time, by the par. liament, for the purpose of defraying the expenses necessary for the defence, protection, and security of the said colonies and plantations. [1765. Statutes at Large. Pickering's edition. 4, 5, George III. Vol. XXVI. Chap. XII. page 179.]
:765. It is difficult to describe the effervescence excited in America, by the news that the stamp act had been adopted in parliament.
The minister, Grenville, knowing how odious it was to the Americans, and foreseeing the tumults it might cause, had endeavored to mitigate its severity, by strictly avoiding to employ, as collectors of the duty, any individuals born in England ; but this precaution proved ineffectual to abate, in the least, the tempest of indignation with which it was received.
The American gazettes began to be filled with complaints of lost liberty ; the most influential citizens declared openly, that this was a manisest violation of their rights, which proceeded from no transient error of the English government, but from a deliberate design to reduce the colonies to slavery ; This,' they exclaimed, 'is but the commencement of a system of the most detestable tyranny.'
Such as opposed the schemes attributed to the government, either to contract a stricter union by a common name, or to render themselves more agreeable to the people, alluding to the words of colonel Barre in his speech before parliament, assumed the specious title of sons of liberty. They bound themselves mutually, among other things, to march at their own expense to any part of the continent, where it should be necessary to maintain the English constitution in America, and to use all their efforts to prevent the execution of the stainp act.
A committee of correspondence was organised, to address circular letters to the principal inhabitants of the country ; exhorting them to adopt the same principles and the same resolutions. These measures gave a powerful activity to the opposition, and to the tumults which soon followed. The people were prepared for insurrection, the moment an occasion, or a signal, should be given them.
The Virginians, again at this time, were the first to give it. The 29th of May, 1765, the house of burgesses of Virginia, upon the motion of George Johnston and Patrick Henry, came to the following resolutions ;
Whereas the honorable house of commons in England, bave of late drawn into question, how far the general assembly of this colony hath power to enact laws for laying taxes and imposing duties, payable by the people of this bis majesty's most ancient colony ; for settling and ascertaining the same to all future times, the house of burgesses of this present general assembly, have come to the several following resolutions;
• That the first adventurers and settlers of this his majesty's colony and dominion of Virginia, brought with them and transmitted to their
posterity, and all other his majesty's subjects since inhabiting in this his majesty's colony, all the privileges and immunities that have at any time been held, enjoyed and possessed by the people of Great Britain. That by the two royal charters granted by James I., the colonists aforesaid, are declared entitled to all privileges of faithful, liege and natural born subjects, to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within the realm of England.
• That his majesty's liege people of this his most ancient colony, have enjoyed the right of being thus governed by their own assembly, in the article of taxes and internal police, and that the same have never been forfeited, or any other way yielded up, but have been constantly recognised by the king and people of Great Britain.
• That consequently the general assembly of this colony, together with his majesty, or his substitute, have in their representative capacity the only exclusive right and power to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this colony ; that every attempt to vest such a power in any person or persons whatsoever other than the general assembly aforesaid, is illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust, and has a manisest tendency to destroy British, as well as American freedom. That his majesty's liege people, the inhabitants of this colony, are not bound to yield obedience to any law or ordinance whatsoever, designed to impose any taxation whatsoever upon them, other than the laws and ardinances of this general assembly. That any person who sball by speaking or writing, maintain that any person or persons, other than the general assembly of this colony, have any right or power to impose or lay any taxation whatsoever upon this people, shall be deemed an enemy to this his majesty's colony.'
These resolutions were passed on this day, by an immense majority ; but the day following, the assembly being more full, as many of the older and inore prudent citizens attended, the subject was reconsidered; and by their influence and representations, the two last articles were retrenched. M. Fauquier, the lieutenant-governor, being informed of these debates, dissolved the assembly; but this measure had little success, for when the new elections took place, those who did not assent to the resolutions were excluded, and all those who did were re-elected. Meanwhile, the resolutions circulated from hand to hand, not as they had been modified, but in their origidal forn.
The members of the confederacy, called the sons of liberty, were especially active in communicating them from one to another, and in a short time they were dispersed every where, and every where perused and reperused with equal avidity and enthusiasm.
But in New England, and particularly in the province of Massachusetts, the warm advocates of American privileges were not content with these marks of approbation, but to propagate them the more rapidly among all classes of people, caused them to be printed in the
public journals, which was the principal occasion of the tumults that shortly ensued.
Very early on Wednesday morning the 14th of August, and it is believed at the instigation of John Avery, Thomas Crafts, John Smith, Henry Welles, Thomas Chase, Stephen Cleverling, Henry Bass, and Benjamin Edes, all individuals extremely opposed to the pretensions of England, and zealous partisans of innovation, two effigies were discovered hanging on a branch of an old elm, near the southern entrance of Boston, one of which, according to the label that was attached to it, represented a stamp officer, the other a jackboot, out of which rose a horned head, which appeared to look around. This spectacle attracted the curious multitude, not only from the city, but as the rumor spread, from all the adjacent country.
As the crowd increased, their minds, already but too much heated, were inspired with a spirit of enthusiasm by this strange exhibition, and the day was immediately devoted to recreation. About dusk, the images were detached from the tree, placed on a bier, and carried in procession with great solemnity. The people followed, stamping, and shouting from all quarters, liberty and property forever—no stamp.' Having passed through the town house, they proceeded with their pageantry down King street, and into Kilby street; when arrived in front of a house owned by one Oliver, which they supposed was designed for a stamp office, they halted, and without further ceremony, demolished it to the foundations. Bearing off, as it were in triumph, the wood of the ruined house, with continually increasing shouts and tumult, they proceeded to the dwelling of Oliver himself, and there having beheaded his effigy, broke all his windows in an instant. Continuing to support the two figures in procession, they ascended to the summit of Fort hill, where kindling with their trophies a bonfire, they burnt one of them, amidst peals of universal acclamation. Not satisfied with this, the populace returned to the house of Oliver with clubs and staves; the garden, fences, and all the dependencies of the edifice were destroyed. Oliver bad fled, to avoid the popular sury, leaving only a few friends to use their discretion, for the prevention of further damage. But some imprudent words of theirs having exasperated the rage of the multitude, they broke open the doors, entered the lower part of the house, and destroyed the furniture of every description. At midnight they disbanded. The next day, Oliver finding himself thus the object of public detestation, and apprehensive of a second visit, notified the principal citizens that he had written to England, requesting the liberty of being excused from the office of distributor of stamps. In the evening, the people re-assembled, erected a pyramid, intending another bonfire, but upon hearing of Oliver's resignation, they desisted, and repaired to the front of his house, gave three cheers, and took their departure without damage.
Meanwhile, a rumor having got abroad, that Hutchinson, the lieutenant-governor, had written to England in favor of the stamp duties, the multitude immediately repaired to his house, and could not be persuaded to retire till they were assured, that this gentleman had even written to dissuade from the bill. Upon which their cries of rage were followed by shouts of acclamation ; they kindled a bonfire, and quietly returned to their respective habitations.
But far more serious were the disorders of the 26th of the same month. Some boys were playing around a fire they had kindled in King street; the fire ward coming to extinguish it, he was whispered, by a person unknown, to desist, which he not regarding, received a blow on his arm, and such other marks of displeasure, as obliged him to withdraw. Meanwhile, a particular whistle was heard from several quarters, which was followed by innumerable cries of • Sirrah! Sirrah ! At this signal advanced a long train of persons disguised, armed with clubs and bludgeons, who proceeded to invest the house of Paxton, marshal of the court of admiralty, and superintendent of the port, who had time to escape; and, at the invitation of the steward,* the assailants accompanied him to the tavern, were pacified, and the house was spared. * But their repeated libations having renewed their frenzy, they sallied forth, and assaulted the house of William Story, register of the vice-admiralty, opposite the court-house, the lower part of which, being his office, they broke open, seized and committed to the flames the files and public records of that court, and then destroyed the furniture of the house. Nor did the riot end bere. The mob, continually increasing in numbers and intoxication, stimulated by the havoc already committed, rushed onwards to the house of Benjamio Hallowell, collector of the customs, the furniture of which they soon destroyed. They renewed their potations, in the cellar; and what they were unable to drink, they wasted; they searched every corner, and carried off about thirty pounds sterling in money. They are joined by fresh bands. In a state bordering on madness, they proceed to the residence of Hutchivson, the lieutenant-governor, about ten o'clock at night; they invest it, and cmploy every means to enter it by violence. After having sent his children, as yet of tender age, to a place of safety, he barricaded bis doors and windows, and seemed determined to remain ; but, unable to resist the fury of the assailants, he was constrained to quit the place, and take refuge in another house, where he remained concealed till four in the morning. Meantime, bis mansion, perhaps the most magnificent and the best furnished house in the colony, was devoted to ruin and pillage. The plate, the pictures, the furniture of every kind, even to the apparel of the governor, were carried off,
* Paxton was only a tenant; the owner of the house, T. Palmer, Esq., gave the entertainment.