Otis v. Hutchinson III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

 Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: The passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 found the colony of Massachusetts in political gridlock between two great families. The Hutchinson clan, allied with royal governor Bernard, was led by Lt. Governor and Superior Court Chief Justice Thomas Hutchinson. On the other  side was the Otis family led by James Otis and his son James, Jr. Up to this time the Hutchinson cabal had held sway and the logjam in politics meant that Massachusetts would likely submit to the collection of the Stamp tax. The news that Virginia had passed a series of resolves condemning the tax spurred into action Boston’s newspapers and a third network of activists who began use violence against the tax collectors and their supporters. This third group was an informal, shadowy assembly who first called themselves the Loyal Nine, but eventually chose the infamous name which went down in history, the Sons of Liberty.

Read more →

Otis v. Hutchinson II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

 Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: Thomas Hutchinson hailed from an old Massachusetts family. His ancestor Anne Hutchinson had been banished in the early years of the colony for unorthodox religious opinions, but her descendant was a solid citizen, a Harvard graduate, and a wealthy, successful merchant. As Lt. Governor and Chief Justice of the Superior Court, during the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765, he came to represent accommodation to the desires of the British parliament to tax the American colonies to pay for British troops stationed in America.

Read more →

Otis v. Hutchinson I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: One of the most important results of the growing antipathy between Britain and its North American colonies in the 1760s was the significant political re-alignment within the colonies that arose out that conflict. Old alliances within the colonies, such as among the first families of Virginia of Virginia, built on beneficial economic connections with London, came under attack from new forces more than willing to consider an independent course for American society, politics and business. The Stamp Act Crisis of 1765 gave these new factions a chance to identify the old alliances as pawns of Great Britain, responsible for unpopular and what many considered to be unconstitutional taxation without representation, and in some cases allied with London in undermining American liberty.

Read more →

American Revolution: Virginia Resolves II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

 Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: Having laid before the Virginia House of Burgesses in May 1765 five resolutions condemning the revenue-enhancing Stamp Act recently passed by the British Parliament, Patrick Henry, newly-elected delegate from Louisa County and widely famous as a result of the court case known as the Parson’s Cause, rose to brilliantly defend the so-called Virginia Resolves. He did so in a manner so extravagantly provocative that in the minds of some present, he edged over the line into disloyalty to the Crown. He first did a historical riff reminding the listeners of Caesar’s Brutus and King Charles I’s Cromwell and anticipated that some American would rise to defend his Country from the acts of the current monarch, King George III. This was clearly incendiary language and the Speaker of the House, John Robinson, warned him that his rhetoric was edging very close to treason.

 

Read more →

American Revolution: Virginia Resolves I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

 Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 Content: When word of the passage of the Stamp Act reached the colonies in Spring 1765 there was little immediate reaction, but in the latter days of May, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a series of resolves so radical and strong that their passage set off a storm of protest and economic reprisals in the other colonies that within a year Parliament was forced to repeal the Act.

 

Read more →

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The author of the Stamp Act (1765) and the Sugar Act (1764) was George Grenville, but his time as chief minister was cut short. Apparently he embarrassed and thus displeased King George III in a Parliamentary dispute over the Queen Mother’s membership in a Regency Council set up to conduct royal affairs in the case of the King’s death or incapacity. His replacement was Lord Rockingham, ably assisted by his secretary Edmund Burke, member from Bristol whose sympathy for the Americans was well-known. The Rockingham ministry enjoyed weak support in the House of Commons, but perhaps its greatest accomplishment was the repeal of the Stamp and Sugar Acts.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The Stamp Act of 1765 was marked by an eruption of civil unrest theretofore unheard of in America. In colony after colony, stamp collectors were burned in effigy and then forced to resign their commissions, sometimes before even receiving them. Shipments of the stamped paper were destroyed. Alleged supporters of the Stamp levy found themselves threatened by mob action and their property put at risk. In August Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s beautiful brick home in Boston was methodically taken apart by a mob and everything moveable was stolen. They even ripped up the slate roof. From New Hampshire to George opponents of the Act took exquisite pains to demonstrate their revulsion to Parliament’s action. Widespread calls for a boycott of British goods began to gather support and soon a marked decline in cross-oceanic business activity began to pinch merchants and manufacturers in the mother country.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: George Grenville, Chief Minister to King George III, was trying to manage a looming British financial crisis, but primarily was looking for money to pay for British troops based in America. Having levied a tax on the molasses used to make colonial rum, he wanted more money. Therefore, in 1764 he began hinting that Americans should pay for the paper used to transact legal business in the colonies. No such official dealings could be conducted on paper not bearing a governmental stamp. The government would sell the paper to the colonists and by this raise money for the troops. Colonial representatives were beyond emphatic that this stamp tax would be met with resentment and resistance. Grenville even toyed with the colonies by seeming to seek their input on the method of collection, but in the end it became clear that he was just being disingenuous and was determined to levy the stamp tax no matter what.