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No stamped paper to be had. [Philadelphia: Printed by Hall & Franklin, 1765]. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a revenue-raising measure that colonists in American found highly objectionable. Under the terms of the act, a stamp was to be placed on all sorts of printed materials, from newspapers and legal documents to playing cards. Colonists protested this act, declaring it deprived them of their property without their consent – “No taxation without representation” was the cry – and acted forcefully to make their unhappiness known. Responses included the Stamp Act Congress, boycotts of British goods, and physical violence, such as the destruction of government officials’ homes. This document suggests the language of protest and the range of activities pursued throughout the colonies. Click on the document to see an enlarged, more readable version.

Library of Congress, American Memory Page: Created/published: Philadelphia, 1765. The Library of Congress American Memory site notes that this document was printed on November 7, 1765, as issue no. 1924, of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but without the usual identifying information of a newspaper, such as date, masthead, or number. A week before, publishers David Hall and Benjamin Franklin had announced they were suspending publication to protest the act. Printing sheets such as this one, with no identifying markers, enabled them to meet readers' needs and protect their firm from persecution.

Document excerpt:
no stamped paper
For a larger version click on the image above

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