Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man. — John Cardinal Newman

American History Stories—Volume II - Mara L. Pratt




The Stamp Act

One of the first things England did to raise money from the colonists, was to issue the Stamp Act.

[Illustration] from American History Stories - II by Mara L. Pratt

The king sent over a large amount of paper on which had been put a certain stamp. This paper the king ordered the colonists to use on all their government writing.

[Illustration] from American History Stories - II by Mara L. Pratt

Nothing, so the king said, would be considered of any value unless it was written on this stamped paper. For example, suppose a man owed another man a hundred dollars. When he paid the debt, the receipt would not be considered of any value unless it was written on this particular paper. Suppose a young man and maiden were to go before the minister to be married; the marriage was not legal, so the king said, unless the minister did the writing, which was always given the married bride and groom, on this stamped paper.

Now, as the king had put a very high price upon this paper, you can see how, by compelling the American colonists to buy it, it was but one way of getting a heavy tax from them.