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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Andrew Oliver


In the PBS explanation of The Stamp Act, they mention Andrew Oliver. He was the newly appointed stamp commissioner at the time that The Stamp Act was enacted. If you are like me, and have never heard of Andrew Oliver before, here is some more information I was able to find about him from FamousAmericans.net. I have cleaned it up a bit, but you can see the original write-up on their site.



Andrew Oliver was the lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 28, 1706; died there, March 3, 1774. His father, Daniel, a member of the council, was a son of Peter, an eminent merchant, and grandson of Thomas, an elder of the church, who arrived in Boston in 1631. Oliver graduated from Harvard in 1724. He was chosen as a member of the general court, and afterward of the council. In 1748 he was sent with his brother-in-law, Governor Thomas Hutchinson, as a commissioner to the Albany congress that met to conclude peace with the heads of the Six Nations and arrange a rectification of the frontier. In 1756 he was appointed secretary of the province.

When the British parliament passed the stamp-act he made himself odious to the patriotic party by accepting the office of distributor of stamps. He was re-elected a councilor by a bare majority on August 14, 1765. An effigy of him was hung between figures of Lord Bute and George Grenville, on the large elm called the "liberty tree." In the evening the multitude, with cries of "Liberty, property, and no stamps!" demolished the structure that was being built for a stamp office. Oliver’s life was in danger, and the next morning he signed a public pledge that he would not act as stamp-officer.

A few months later there was a rumor that he intended to enforce the stamp-act, and on the day of the opening of parliament the Sons of Liberty compelled him to march to the tree and there renew his promise in a speech, and take oath before a justice of the peace, Richard Dana, that he would never, directly or indirectly, take measures for the collection of the stamp duty.

In 1770 he was appointed lieutenant-governor, his letters, with those of Hutchinson and others, recommending the dispatch of troops to this country, and the criminal prosecution of Samuel Adams and other patriots, were shown to Benjamin Franklin (q. v.) in England, as expressions from Americans of weight and station. Party feelings ran so high at the time of his death, that Hutchinson says "A large mob attended upon his interment anal hurrahed at the entombing of his body, and that night there was an exhibition at a public window of a coffin, and insignia of infamy.”

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2 comments:

Kieran said...

One could argue that the Stamp Act was the start if the American Revolution.

If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that Live traffic feed from?

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