Parliament in London



The Stamp Act 1765 (short title Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12) imposed a direct tax by the British Parliament specifically on the colonies of British America, and it required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. These printed materials were legal documents, magazines, newspapers and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money. The purpose of the tax was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years’ War. The British government felt that the colonies were the primary beneficiaries of this military presence, and should pay at least a portion of the expense. The Americans said there was no military need for them because the Americans had always protected themselves, and suggested it was rather an example of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers.

The Stamp Act was very unpopular among colonists. Many colonists considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent—consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests. The Stamp Act Congress held in New York City, reflecting the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure, also petitioned Parliament and the King. Local protest groups, led by colonial merchants and landowners, established connections through correspondence that created a loose coalition that extended from New England to Maryland. Protests and demonstrations initiated by the Sons of Liberty often turned violent and destructive as the masses became involved. Very soon all stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, and the tax was never effectively collected.

Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers, whose exports to the colonies were threatened by colonial economic problems exacerbated by the tax, also pressured Parliament. The Act was repealed on March 18, 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” by also passing the Declaratory Act. There followed a series of new taxes and regulations, likewise opposed by the colonists.

The episode played a major role in defining the grievances and enabling the organized colonial resistance that led to the American Revolution in 1775.


The British victory in the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), known in British America as the French and Indian War, had been won only at a great financial cost. During the war, the British national debt nearly doubled, rising from £72,289,673(equal to £{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|72000000|1755}}} today) to almost £129,586,789 by 1764, (equal to £{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|130000000|1764}}} today). Post-war expenses were expected to remain high because the Bute ministry decided in early 1763 to keep ten thousand British regular soldiers in the American colonies, which would cost about £225,000 per year, equal to £{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|225000|1763}}} today. The primary reason for retaining such a large force was that demobilizing the army would put 1,500 officers, many of whom were well-connected in Parliament, out of work. This made it politically prudent to retain a large peacetime establishment, but because Britons were averse to maintaining a standing army at home, it was necessary to garrison most of the troops elsewhere.

Stationing 10,000 troops to separate Indians and frontiersmen was one role. The outbreak in May 1763 of Pontiac’s Rebellion, an Indian uprising against the British expansion, reinforced the logic of this decision. The main reason to send 10,000 troops deep in the wilderness was to provide billets for the officers who were part of the British patronage system. John Adams said, “Revenue is still demanded from America, and appropriated to the maintenance of swarms of officers and pensioners in idleness and luxury.”

George Grenville—who became prime minister in April 1763—had to find a way to pay for this large peacetime army. Raising taxes in Britain was out of the question, since there had been virulent protests in England against the Bute ministry’s 1763 cider tax, with Bute being hanged in effigy. The Greenville ministry therefore decided that Parliament would raise this revenue by taxing the American colonists without their consent. This was something new: Parliament had previously passed measures to regulate trade in the colonies, but it had never before directly taxed the colonies to raise revenue.

Politicians in London had always expected American colonists to contribute to the cost of their own defense. So long as a French threat existed, there was little trouble convincing colonial legislatures to provide assistance. Such help was normally provided through the raising of colonial militias, which were funded by taxes raised by colonial legislatures. Also, the legislatures were sometimes willing to help maintain regular British units defending the colonies. So long as this sort of help was forthcoming there was little reason for the British Parliament to impose its own taxes on the colonists. But after the peace of 1763, however, colonial militias were quickly stood down. Militia officers, tired of the disdain shown to them by regular British officers and frustrated by the near-impossibility of obtaining regular British commissions, were unwilling to remain in service once the war was over. In any case they had no military role, as the Indian threat was minimal as was any foreign threat. Colonial legislators saw no need for the British troops.

The first tax in Grenville’s program to raise a revenue in America was the Sugar Act of 1764, which was a modification of the Molasses Act of 1733. The Molasses Act had imposed a tax of 6 pence per gallon (equal to £{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|0.025|1733|r=2}}} today) on foreign molasses imported into British colonies. The purpose of the Molasses Act was not to actually raise revenue, but instead to make foreign molasses so expensive that it effectively gave a monopoly to molasses imported from the British West Indies. It did not work: colonial merchants avoided the tax by smuggling or, more often, bribing customs officials. The Sugar Act reduced the tax to 3 pence per gallon (equal to £{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|0.0125|1764|r=2}}} today) with the hope that the lower rate would increase compliance and thus increase the amount of tax collected. The act also taxed additional imports and included measures to make the customs service more effective.

American colonists initially objected to the Sugar Act for economic reasons, but before long they recognized that there were constitutional issues involved. The British Constitution guaranteed that British subjects could not be taxed without their consent, which came in the form of representation in Parliament. The colonists elected no members of Parliament, and so for Parliament to tax them was seen as a violation of the British Constitution. There was little time to raise this issue in response to the Sugar Act, but it came to be a major objection to the Stamp Act the following year.

==British decision-making==

Parliament announced in April 1764 when the Sugar Act was passed that they would also consider a stamp tax in the colonies. Although opposition to this possible tax from the colonies was soon forthcoming, there was little expectation in Britain, either by members of Parliament or American agents in Great Britain such as Benjamin Franklin, of the intensity of the protest that the tax would generate.

Stamp acts had been a very successful method of taxation within Great Britain. It generated over £100,000 in tax revenue with very little in collection expenses. By requiring an official stamp on most legal documents, the system was almost self-regulating – a document without the required stamp would be null and void under British law. Imposition of such a tax on the colonies had been considered twice before the Seven Years’ War and once again in 1761. Grenville had actually been presented with drafts of colonial stamp acts in September and October 1763, but the proposals lacked the specific knowledge of colonial affairs to describe adequately the documents subject to the stamp. At the time of the passage of the Sugar Act in April 1764, Grenville made it clear that the right to tax the colonies was not in question, and that additional taxes, including a stamp tax, might follow.

The Glorious Revolution had established the principle of parliamentary supremacy. Control of colonial trade and manufactures extended this principle across the ocean. Although this belief had never been tested on the issue of colonial taxation, the British assumed that the interests of the thirteen colonies were too disparate to make joint colonial action against such a tax likely – an assumption that had its genesis in the failure of the Albany Conference in 1754. By the end of December 1764 the arrival from the colonies of pamphlets and petitions protesting both the Sugar Act and the proposed stamp tax provided the first warnings of serious colonial opposition.

For Grenville, the first issue was the amount of the tax. Soon after his announcement of the possibility of a tax, he had told American agents that he was not opposed to the Americans suggesting an alternative way of raising the money themselves. However the only other alternative would be to requisition each colony and allow them to determine how to raise their share. This had never worked before, even during the French and Indian War, and there was no political mechanism in place that would have ensured the success of such cooperation. On February 2, 1765 Grenville met with Benjamin Franklin, Jared Ingersoll from Philadelphia, Richard Jackson the agent for Connecticut, and Charles Garth the agent for South Carolina (Jackson and Garth were also members of Parliament) to discuss the tax. These colonial representatives had no specific alternative to present; they simply suggested that the determination be left to the colonies. Grenville replied that he wanted to raise the money “by means the most easy and least objectionable to the Colonies” and Thomas Whately, who had drafted the Stamp Act, said the delay in implementation had been “out of Tenderness to the colonies” and the tax was judged as “the easiest, the most equal and the most certain.”

The debate in Parliament began soon after this meeting. Petitions submitted by the colonies were officially ignored by Parliament. In the debate Charles Townshend said, “…and now will these Americans, children planted by our care, nourished up by our Indulgence until they are grown to a degree of strength and opulence, and protected by our arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from heavy weight of the burden which we lie under?” This led to Colonel Isaac Barré’s response:

They nourished by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of ’em. As soon as you began to care about ’em, that care was exercised in sending persons to rule over ’em, in one department and another, who were perhaps the deputies of deputies to some member of this house, sent to spy out their liberty, to misrepresent their actions and to prey upon ’em; men whose behaviour on many occasions has caused the blood of those sons of liberty to recoil within them … .

===Details of tax===

The Stamp Act was passed by Parliament on March 22, 1765 with an effective date of November 1, 1765. It passed 205–49 in the House of Commons and unanimously in the House of Lords. Historians Edmund and Helen Morgan describe the specifics of the tax:

The high taxes on lawyers and college students were designed to limit the growth of a professional class in the colonies. The stamps had to be purchased with hard currency, which was scarce, rather than the more plentiful colonial paper currency. To avoid draining currency out of the colonies the revenues were to be expended in America, especially for supplies and salaries of British Army units who were stationed there.

Two features of the Act involving the courts attracted special attention. The tax on court documents specifically included courts “exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction.” These type of courts did not currently exist in the colonies and no bishops, who would preside over the courts, were currently assigned to the colonies. Many colonists or their ancestors had fled England specifically to escape the influence and power of such state-sanctioned religious institutions, and they feared this was the first step to reinstating the old ways in the colonies. Some Anglicans in the northern colonies were already openly advocating the appointment of such bishops, but they were opposed by both southern Anglicans and the non-Anglicans who made up the majority in the northern colonies.

Following the example established by the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act allowed admiralty courts to have jurisdiction for trying violators. However admiralty courts had traditionally been limited to cases involving the high seas. Although the Sugar Act seemed to fall within this precedent, the Stamp Act did not, and the colonists saw this as a further attempt to replace their local courts with courts controlled by England.

==Colonial reaction==

===Political responses===

Grenville started appointing Stamp Distributors almost immediately after the Act passed Parliament. Applicants were not hard to come by because of the anticipated income that the positions promised, and he appointed local colonists to the post. Benjamin Franklin even suggested the appointment of John Hughes as the agent for Pennsylvania, indicating that even Franklin was not aware of the turmoil and impact on American-British relations that the tax was going to generate or that these distributors would become the focus of colonial resistance.

Debate in the colonies over the Stamp Act had actually begun in the spring of 1764 when Parliament passed a resolution that contained the assertion, “That, towards further defraying the said Expences, it may be proper to charge certain Stamp Duties in the said Colonies and Plantations.” Both the Sugar Act and the proposed Stamp Act were designed principally to raise revenue from the colonists. The Sugar Act was to a large extent a continuation of past legislation related primarily to the regulation of trade (termed an external tax), but its stated purpose to collect revenue directly from the colonists for a specific purpose was entirely new. The novelty of the Stamp Act was that it was the first internal tax (a tax based entirely on activities within the colonies) levied directly on the colonies by Parliament. Because of its potential wide application to the colonial economy, the Stamp Act was judged by the colonists to be a more dangerous assault on their rights than the Sugar Act was.

The theoretical issue that would soon hold center stage was the matter of taxation without representation. Benjamin Franklin had raised this as far back as 1754 at the Albany Congress when he wrote, “That it is suppos’d an undoubted Right of Englishmen not to be taxed but by their own Consent given thro’ their Representatives. That the Colonies have no Representatives in Parliament.” The counter to this argument was the theory of virtual representation. Thomas Whately enunciated this theory in a pamphlet that readily acknowledged that there could be no taxation without consent, but the facts were that at least 75% of British adult males were not represented in Parliament because of property qualifications or other factors. Since members of Parliament were bound to represent the interests of all British citizens and subjects, colonists, like those disenfranchised subjects in the British Isles, were the recipients of virtual representation in Parliament. This theory, however, ignored a crucial difference between the unrepresented in Britain and the colonists. The colonists enjoyed actual representation in their own legislative assemblies, and the issue was whether these legislatures, rather than Parliament, were in fact the sole recipients of the colonists’ consent with regard to taxation.

In May 1764, Samuel Adams of Boston drafted the following that stated the common American position:

Massachusetts appointed a five member Committee of Correspondence in June 1764 to coordinate action and exchange information regarding the Sugar Act, and in October 1764 Rhode Island formed a similar committee. This attempt at unified action represented a significant step forward in colonial unity and cooperation. The Virginia House of Burgesses in December 1764 sent a protest of the taxes to London, arguing that they did not have the specie required to pay the tax. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut also sent protest to England in 1764. Although the content of the messages varied, they all emphasized that taxation of the colonies without colonial assent was a violation of their rights. By the end of 1765, all of the Thirteen Colonies except Georgia and North Carolina had sent some sort of protest passed by colonial legislative assemblies.

The Virginia House of Burgesses reconvened in early May 1765 after news of the passage of the Act was received. By the end of May it appeared they would not consider the tax and many legislators, including George Washington, went home. Only 30 out of 116 Burgesses remained, but one of those remaining was Patrick Henry who was attending his first session. Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act and his resolutions, proposed May 30, 1765, were passed in the form of the Virginia Resolves. The Resolves stated:

Resolved, That by the two royal Charters, granted by King James the First, the Colonists aforesaid are declared entitled to all Liberties, Privileges, and Immunities of Denizens and natural Subjects, to all Intents and Purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within the Realm of England.

Resolved, That the Taxation of the People by themselves, or by Persons chosen by themselves to represent them, who could only know what Taxes the People are able to bear, or the easiest method of raising them, and must themselves be affected by every Tax laid on the People, is the only Security against a burdensome Taxation, and the distinguishing characteristick of British Freedom, without which the ancient Constitution cannot exist.

On June 6, 1765 the Massachusetts Lower House proposed a meeting for the 1st Tuesday of October in New York City:

There was no attempt to keep this meeting a secret; Massachusetts promptly notified Richard Jackson, its agent in England and a member of Parliament, of the proposed meeting.

===Protests in the streets===

While the colonial legislatures were acting, the ordinary citizens of the colonies were also voicing their concerns outside of this formal political process. Historian Gary B. Nash wrote:


Early street protests were most notable in Boston. On August 14, 1765 Andrew Oliver, distributor of stamps for Massachusetts, was hanged in effigy “from a giant elm tree at the crossing of Essex and Orange Streets in the city’s South End.” Also hung was a Jack boot painted green on the bottom (“a Green-ville sole”) – a pun on both Grenville and the Earl of Bute, the two people most blamed by the colonists. The sheriff, Stephen Greenleaf, was ordered by Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson to take the effigy down, but was opposed by a large crowd. All day the crowd detoured merchants on Orange Street to have their goods symbolically stamped under the elm (the elm tree later became known as the “Liberty Tree”). At night, a crowd, led by Ebenezer MacIntosh, a veteran of the Seven Years’ War and a shoemaker, cut down the mock Oliver and took it in a funeral procession to the Town House where the legislature met. From there they went to Oliver’s office, tore it down, symbolically stamped the timbers, and took the effigy to Oliver’s home at the foot of Fort Hill where they beheaded and burned the effigy along with Oliver’s stable house and coach and chaise. Greenleaf and Hutchinson were stoned when they tried to stop the mob, which then looted and destroyed the contents of Oliver’s house. Oliver asked to be relieved of his duties the next day. This resignation, however, was not enough. Oliver was ultimately forced by MacIntosh to be paraded through the streets and publicly resign under the Liberty Tree.

As news for the reasons of Andrew Oliver’s resignation spread, violence and threats of aggressive acts increased throughout the colonies as did organized groups of resistance. Throughout the colonies, members of the middle and upper classes of society formed the foundation for these groups of resistance and soon called themselves the Sons of Liberty. These colonial groups of resistance burned effigies of royal officials, forced Stamp Act collectors to resign and were able to get businessmen and judges to go about without using the proper stamps demanded by Parliament.

On August 26, MacIntosh led an attack on Hutchinson’s mansion. The mob evicted the family, destroyed the furniture, tore down the interior walls, emptied the wine cellar, scattered Hutchinson’s collection of Massachusetts historical papers, and pulled down the building’s cupola. Hutchinson, who had been in public office for three decades estimated his loss at £2,218 (in today’s money, at nearly $250,000). Nash concludes that this attack was more than just a reaction to the Stamp Act:

Governor Francis Bernard offered a £300 reward for information on the leaders of the mob, but no information was forthcoming. MacIntosh and several others were arrested, but were freed either by pressure from the merchants or released by mob action.

The street demonstrations originated from the leadership of respectable public leaders such as James Otis who commanded the Boston Gazette and Samuel Adams of the “Loyal Nine” of the Boston Caucus, an organization of Boston merchants. They made efforts to control the people below them on the economic and social scale, but they were often unsuccessful in maintaining a delicate balance between mass demonstrations and riots. These men needed the support of the working class, but also had to establish the legitimacy of their actions to have their protests to England taken seriously. At the time of these protests the Loyal Nine was more of a social club with political interests, but by December 1765 it began issuing statements as the Sons of Liberty.

====Rhode Island====

Rhode Island also experienced street violence. In Newport, on August 27, a crowd built a gallows near the Town House where they carried effigies of three officials appointed as stamp distributors: Augustus Johnson, Dr. Thomas Moffat, and lawyer Martin Howard. The crowd was at first led by three merchants, William Ellery, Samuel Vernon, and Robert Crook, but they soon lost control. That night the crowd, led by a poor man, John Weber, attacked the houses of Moffat and Howard, where they destroyed walls, fences, art, furniture and wine. When Weber was arrested, the local Sons of Liberty, publicly opposed to violence, refused at first to support him. They were persuaded to come to his assistance when retaliation was threatened against their own homes. Weber was released and faded into obscurity.

Howard became the only prominent American to publicly support the Stamp Act in his pamphlet “A Colonist’s Defence of Taxation” (1765). After the riots Howard had to leave the colony but was rewarded by the Crown with an appointment as Chief Justice of North Carolina at a salary of ₤1000.

====New York====

In New York, James McEvers resigned his distributorship four days after the attack on Hutchinson’s house. The stamps for several of the northern colonies arrived in New York Harbor on October 24. Placards appeared throughout the city, warning that “the first man that either distributes or makes use of stamped paper let him take care of his house, person, and effects.” New York merchants met on October 31 and agreed not to sell any English goods until the Act was repealed. Crowds, uncontrolled by the local leaders, took to the streets for four days of demonstrations, culminating in an attack by two thousand people on Governor Cadwallader Colden’s home and the burning of two sleighs and a coach. Unrest in New York City continued through the end of the year, and the local Sons of Liberty had difficulty in controlling crowd actions.

====Other Colonies====

Other popular demonstrations occurred in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Annapolis, Maryland; Wilmington and New Bern, North Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, demonstrations were subdued but even targeted Benjamin Franklin’s home, although it was not vandalized. By November 16, twelve of the stamp distributors had resigned. The Georgia distributor did not arrive in America until January 1766, but his first and only official action was to resign.

The overall effect of these protests was to both anger and unite the American people like never before. Opposition to the Act inspired both political and constitutional forms of literature throughout the colonies, strengthened the colonial political perception and involvement, and created new forms of organized resistance. These organized groups quickly learned that they could force royal officials to resign by employing violent measures and threats.

====Canada and Caribbean====

The main issue was constitutional rights of Englishmen, so the French in Quebec did not react. Some English-speaking merchants were opposed, but were in a fairly small minority. The Quebec Gazette ceased publication until the act was repealed, apparently over the unwillingness to use stamped paper. In neighboring Nova Scotia a number of former New England residents objected, but recent British immigrants and London-oriented business interests based in Halifax, the provincial capital were more influential. The only major public protest was the hanging in effigy of the stamp distributor and Lord Bute. The act was implemented in both provinces, but Nova Scotia’s stamp distributor resigned in January 1766, beset by ungrounded fears for his safety. Authorities there were ordered to allow ships bearing unstamped papers to enter its ports, and business continued unabated after the distributors ran out of stamps. The Act occasioned some protests in Newfoundland, and the drafting of petitions opposing not only the Stamp Act, but the existence of the customhouse at St. John’s, based on legislation dating back to the reign of Edward VI forbidding any sort of duties on the importation of goods related to its fisheries.

Violent protests were few in the Caribbean colonies. Political opposition was expressed in a number of colonies, including Barbados and Antigua, and by absentee landowners living in Britain. The worst political violence took place on St. Kitts and Nevis. Riots took place on October 31, 1765, and again on November 5, targeting the homes and offices of stamp distributors; the number of participants suggests that the percentage of St. Kitts’ white population involved matched that of Bostonian involvement in its riots. The delivery of stamps to St. Kitts was successfully blocked, and they were never used there. Montserrat and Antigua also succeeded in avoiding the use of stamps; some correspondents thought that rioting was prevented in Antigua only by the large troop presence. Despite vocal political opposition, Barbados used the stamps, to the pleasure of King George. In Jamaica there was also vocal opposition, which included threats of violence. There was much evasion of the stamps, and ships arriving without stamped papers were allowed to enter port. Despite this, Jamaica produced more stamp revenue (£2,000) than any other colony.

====Sons of Liberty====

It was during this time of street demonstrations that locally organized groups started to merge into an inter-colonial organization of a type not previously seen in the colonies. Although the term “sons of liberty” had been used in a generic fashion well before 1765, it was only around February 1766 that its influence as an organized group, using the formal name “Sons of Liberty”, extended throughout the colonies, leading to the development of a pattern for future resistance to the British that would carry the colonies towards 1776. Historian John C. Miller noted that the name was adopted as a result of Barre’s use of the term in his February 1765 speech.

The organization spread month by month after independent starts in several different colonies. By November 6, a committee was set up in New York to correspond with other colonies, and in December an alliance was formed between groups in New York and Connecticut. In January, there was established a correspondence link between Boston and Manhattan, and by March, Providence had initiated connections with New York, New Hampshire, and Newport, Rhode Island. Also, by March, Sons of Liberty organizations had been established in New Jersey, Maryland, and Norfolk, Virginia, and a local group established in North Carolina was attracting interest in South Carolina and Georgia.

While the officers and leaders of the Sons of Liberty “were drawn almost entirely from the middle and upper ranks of colonial society,” they recognized the need to expand their power base to include “the whole of political society, involving all of its social or economic subdivisions.” To do this, the Sons of Liberty relied on large public demonstrations to expand their base. They learned early on that controlling such crowds was problematical, although they strived to control “the possible violence of extra-legal gatherings.” While the organization professed its loyalty to both local and British established government, possible military action as a defensive measure was always part of their considerations. Throughout the Stamp Act Crisis, the Sons of Liberty professed continued loyalty to the King because they maintained a “fundamental confidence” in the expectation that Parliament would do the right thing and repeal the tax.

===Stamp Act Congress===

The Stamp Act Congress was held in New York in October 1765. Twenty-seven delegates from nine colonies were the members of the Congress and their responsibility was to draft a set of formal petitions stating why Parliament had no right to tax them. Among the delegates were many important men in the colonies. Historian John Miller observes that “[t]he composition of this Stamp Act Congress ought to have been convincing proof to the British government that resistance to parliamentary taxation was by no means confined to the riffraff of colonial seaports.”

The youngest delegate was 26 year old John Rutledge of South Carolina, and the oldest was 65 year old Hendrick Fisher of New Jersey. Ten of the delegates were lawyers, ten were merchants, and seven were planters or land owning farmers; all had served in some type of elective office and all but three were born in the colonies. Four would die before the colonies declared independence, and four would sign the Declaration of Independence; nine would attend the first and second Continental Congresses, and three would be Loyalists during the Revolution. New Hampshire declined to send delegates, and North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia were not represented because their governors did not call their legislatures into session, thus preventing the selection of delegates. Despite the composition of the congress, each of the Thirteen Colonies eventually affirmed its decisions. Six of the nine colonies represented at the Congress agreed to sign the petitions to the King and Parliament produced by the Congress. The delegations from New York, Connecticut, and South Carolina were prohibited from signing any documents without first receiving approval from the colonial assemblies that had appointed them.

Massachusetts governor Francis Bernard believed that his colony’s delegates to the Congress would be supportive of Parliament. Timothy Ruggles in particular was Bernard’s man, and was elected chairman of the Congress. Ruggles’ instructions from Bernard were to “recommend submission to the Stamp Act until Parliament could be persuaded to repeal it.” Many delegates felt that a final