Join us throughout A Revolutionary Summer with exhibits, crafts, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan Your Visit

Dismiss notification

Intended to help support the British regiments left to defend the American colonies after the French and Indian War, Parliament passed the Stamp Act tax on March 22, 1765. The act required certain types of documents to be printed on taxed paper. An elaborate stamp, which included royal symbols and the word “America,” was printed or attached to the paper. The stamp proved that the tax was paid and applied to all legal documents, newspapers, and pamphlets, as well as playing cards and dice. The paper was stamped in Britain, sent to the colonies, and sold by government-appointed officials.

Many Americans thought the tax was unfair and opposed it. Protests broke out in almost every colony, sometimes violently targeting stamp collectors and other government officials. The protests were successful, and the Stamp Act was repealed on March 11, 1766, never having taken full effect in the American colonies.

Artifact Details

  • Stamp
    ca. 1765
    Museum of the American Revolution, 2019.18.01

Paper stamp printed with a crown, the initials "G" and "R," the number "137," and decorative flourishes
Reverse side of the Stamp Act stamp.

Learn More

A blue and white postage stamp with the likenesses of General George Washington, José Francisco de San Martín, and Simón Bolívar.

Colombian Postage Stamp

This 1955 Colombian postage stamp shows General George Washington in the company of José Francisco de San Martín (1778-1850) and Simón Bolívar (1783-1830).
See Object
This image depicts the book cover of Revolutionary Dissent: How the Founding Generation Created the Freedom of Speech by Stephen D. Solomon. The image is a piece of paper being torn from the right and left side. Underneath the paper appear images of the Founding Fathers, most notably Benjamin Franklin on the far right side, who stares at the viewer.

Revolutionary Dissent

This excerpt from Stephen Solomon explores how early Americans used technology and communication networks to expand participation in political discussions
Read More
This image depicts the book cover for Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Bands of Radicals who Led the Colonies to War by Les Standiford.

Desperate Sons

This excerpt from Les Standiford describes America's growing number of grievances with its mother country and Britain's indifference to colonists' complaints
Read More