Princeton University Library Catalog

Extracts from the papers relative to America.

  • Manuscript, Book
London, approximately 1766.
28 p. ; 32 cm
Summary note:
The manuscript lists correspondence received from almost all of the colonies. Many of these letters document the resignations of stamp collectors and the response of colonial administrations and representatives to the act. Correspondence from Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in particular provide detailed descriptions of the negative reactions to the Stamp Act. Letters from Aug. 15, 16, and 22 contain "accounts of the first riot at Boston on 14th August upon which they observe that the tumult seems to them rather suspended than all1ayed, and that in whatever light it is viewed, whether in respect of the avowed object to oppose and prevent the execution of an act of Parliament or in respect of the state of government and magistracy there which is utterly incapable of resisting these tumults, the matter seems to them of such high importance." A letter dated Aug. 28 from Mr. C. Robinson, Collector of the Customs at Rhode Island, informed his superiors "of the particulars of the riot in that colony, in which he was a considerable sufferer...and adds 'I consider the fury against me to proceed from my capacity as an officer of the customs, and the check I am of course to their smuggling views...we are exposed to the fury of a whole country inflamed to an intolerable degree subject to no rule...and we are without protection or support either to enable us to our duty or secure our place in society." One correspondent clearly describes the larger implications of the Stamp Act. In a letter dated Oct. 12, Gen. Gage notes that several colonial assemblies had passed resolutions opposed to the act, adding that "they are of different opinions and characters but that it was to be feared the spirit of democracy was amongst them. The question is not of the inexpediency of the Stamp Act, or of the inability of the colonies to pay the tax; but that it is unconstitutional and contrary to their rights supporting the independency of the colonies as not subject to the legislative power of Great Britain."
  • Caption title.
  • Evidently compiled for official use in London in connection with ministerial discussions concerning the difficulties regarding the Stamp Act. The memorandum summarizes British government correspondence concerning colonies in North America as well as numerous reports regarding responses to the Stamp Act. The letters extracted were written between June 5-and Dec. 19, 1765, and most of the reports concern responses to the Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765.
  • Forms part of: The Sid Lapidus '59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution.
Source acquisition:
Gift; Sidney Lapidus, Princeton Class of 1959, 2010.
Other views:
Staff view