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Participants of the Stamp Act

Samuel Adams (1722-1803)

A graduate from Harvard College, unsuccessful businessman and tax collector, entered politics to coordinate efforts against British imposed taxes on American colonies as a leader of the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty were responsible for the Stamp Act crisis and riots, he was portrayed as a master of propaganda. He was an official of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was a cousin of President John Adams.

 Samuel Adams


James Otis (1725-1783)

James Otis graduated from Harvard College. He was a top lawyer in Boston and became known as an opponent to writs of assistance. He was a member of the provincial assembly and part of the Sons of Liberty.  Otis wrote influential pamphlets against taxation in the colonies and was a leader of the Stamp Act Congress.

James Otis

John Hancock (1737-1793)

John Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. He attended Harvard College. Hancock joined the resistance to the Stamp Act by participating in the boycott of British goods. His relationship with Samuel Adams benefited his political career. He became the president of the Second Continental Congress and a founding father of the United States. He is known for his large, flamboyant signature in the document of the Declaration of Independence.

John Hancock


Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831)

Thomas was the printer and publisher of many of the pamphlets that circulated during the stamp Act. From 1770 to 1775 he published The Massachusetts Spy, a Bostonian newspaper that fueled the opposition effort that led to the Revolutionary War.

Isaiah Thomas


George Grenville (1712-1771)

On April 8 1763 George Grenville became Prime Minister of Britain. In order to keep Britain’s public finances under control he followed an assertive foreign policy. He proposed an strict enforcement of previous revenue producing duties such as the 1733 Molasses Act and 1764 Sugar Act. Supported by his ministers and King George III he decided it was time colonial residents paid for their protection so he pushed the Stamp Act through parliament. After its failure in the colonies he was replaced by Marquis of Rockingham.

George Grenville


Marquis of Rockingham, Charles Watson-Wentworth (1730-1782)

During his mandate the Stamp Act was repealed and the Declaratory Act was approved.

Charles Watson-Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham


William Pitt (1708-1778)

Pitt was the most vocal opponent of the Stamp Act in British Parliament. He believed that an American tax was unconstitutional and endorsed the colonists on the ground of principle. He supported Marquis of Rockingham in his proposal to repeal the Stamp Act.

William Pitt


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