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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In 1765, Wilmington was not part of the United States – it was an English Colony. While economic conditions were tough, one new law would prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back for the colonists. 

The Stamp Act of 1765 placed taxes on most forms of paper: newspapers, letters, pamphlets, wills, pretty much anything. 

On October 19th, 1765 angry mobs took over Wilmington's streets and alleys, saying to have burned an effigy of the local tax collector, William Houston.

Just twelve days later, another mob staged a mock funeral for "liberty", burying a symbolic casket in its name. 

On Novermber 16th, William houston himself traveled to Wilmington on business. The public was still angry, and sought him out. Once they found him, they dragged him to the courthouse and forced him to resign. 

In the next year, several hundred citizens stormed Brunswick Town, arresting Royal officials. Just months after this, the Stamp Act was repealed. 

A huge act of defiance in its day, this set the stage for the revolution that would come in just ten years.

Comment on this Story

  • GuestRebellion

    I am guessing we are paying even more taxes now than they did in 1775…..Time for another Revolution?

  • Guestish

    Of course we pay more taxes. We also get more services.
    “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • Scott H

    The true breadth and scope of taxation is not understood by most people. Many items are taxed several times before you get them. Gasoline, for example: the exploration is taxed, the driller is taxed, the transporter is taxed, the refinery is taxed, the 2nd transporter is taxed, the bulk storage is taxed, the distributor is taxed, and then YOU are taxed. The tax you alone pay (per gallon)generates more income for the Government than Exxon or BP make on a gallon. The Gov complains about “big oil” making obscene profits when they themselves make more than the oil companies. Further, the oil companies EARN their profit; the Gov confiscates it.

    It’s time for all good men to come to the aid of their Country by revolting against BIG Government and it’s waste!


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