Story of The Liberty Tree At Pensmore
America Must Remember Boston’s Liberty Tree
Monday, 03 Oct 2011 12:32 PM
By Ronald Kessler
Ten years before the American Revolution, colonists in Boston staged the first act of defiance against the British government.
No, it was not the Boston Tea Party. That took place just a year and a half before the start of the war.
Instead, the colonists’ first protest against the British unfolded on Aug. 14, 1765 at the Liberty Tree. A magnificent elm towering over the other trees nearby, the Liberty Tree stood at the corner of what is now Washington and Essex Streets in downtown Boston.
What set off the protest was passage five months earlier by the British Parliament of the Stamp Act. The first direct tax imposed on the colonists, it required that printed materials such as newspapers, pamphlets, deeds, posters, insurance policies, and bills of sale carry a revenue stamp. Violators of the Stamp Act were to be tried in British vice-admiralty courts in the colonies.
The colonists found the Stamp Act outrageous. It led to the rallying cry of “no taxation without representation” and agitation that culminated in the American Revolution.
On the morning of the 1765 protest, a crowd began to gather under the tree as word spread that an effigy of Andrew Oliver, the colonist chosen by King George III to impose the Stamp Act, had been hanged in its branches. Up in the tree with the effigy was a British cavalry jackboot. Grinning from inside the boot was a devil-like doll holding a scroll marked “Stamp Act.”
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