The 1765 Stamp Act March 5 -1765

The Stamp Act
On February 6th, 1765 George Grenville rose in Parliament to offer the fifty-five resolutions of his Stamp Bill. A motion was offered to first read petitions from the Virginia colony and others was denied. The bill was passed on February 17, approved by the Lords on March 8th, and two weeks later ordered in effect by the King. The Stamp Act was Parliament's first serious attempt to assert governmental authority over the colonies. Great Britain was faced with a massive national debt following the Seven Years War. That debt had grown from £72,289,673 in 1755 to £129,586,789 in 1764*. English citizens in America were taxed at a rate that created a serious threat of revolt.
The Stamp Act taxed every piece of written or printed materials, leases, writs, trade agreements, notes, bills of lading, correspondence of business, licensing of anything to anyone or any transaction no matter what is was for. Including the printing of anything to anyone. Including bank notes. There were 55 resolutions in the bill and encompassed anything you could think in the daily lives of the colonists. The only thing not taxed was the air they breathed.
     Art in the Colonies
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City
Catherina Elmendorf, 1752
American Artist Unknown - Oil on canvas
Catherina Elmendorf was born in Kingston, in Ulster County, New York, in 1747, the daughter of Petrus Edmundus Elmendorf (1715–1765) and Mary Crooke (b. 1721). She was five years old when she sat for her portrait. This painting bears all the principal hallmarks of mid-eighteenth-century portraiture in upstate New York: strong colors, meticulous detailing, and the general influence of earlier Dutch portraits. Yet the as yet unnamed limner was even more exacting than most. He carefully rendered Catherina's ribbon-trimmed lace cap, her double-strand pearl necklace with a larger pearl at the center, and the leaf-and-web lace stomacher that gives her little-girl dress the look of a woman's open gown. Catherina's left hand is cupped upward in the codified gesture of receiving a friend or a gift, and the blue and white footed and two-handled cup on the table beside her is filled with parrot tulips, carnations, and roses, the exotic flowers in a special vase testifying to her family's prosperity and high station in the community. In 1769, Catherina doubled her good fortune by marrying Rutger Bleecker (1745–1787), with whom she had six children.
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