MARKING HISTORY: The Stamp Act of 1765


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. 

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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 Just months after this, the Stamp Act was repealed.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.

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