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Coming of the American Revolution: Document Viewer
Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

Back to The Formation of the Sons of Liberty

St-p! St-p! St-p! No: Tuesday-Morning, December 17, 1765

St-p! St-p! St-p! No: Tuesday-Morning, December 17, 1765 Broadside

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Under the Liberty Tree
In the summer of 1765, nine merchants and tradesmen gather in Boston to organize opposition to the Stamp Act. Finding inspiration in the annual Pope's Day celebrations, the "Loyal Nine" decide to harness the manpower of the mobs that regularly parade (and occasionally riot) through the streets of Boston on 5 November each year. This collaboration proves formidable on 14 August 1765 when the mob, under the direction of Ebenezer McIntosh, marches an effigy of alleged stamp distributor Andrew Oliver through the town. Oliver "resigns" (even though he has not yet been appointed) which quells the mob temporarily. When Oliver receives his official commission as stamp distributor on 30 November, the Loyal Nine (now calling themselves the Sons of Liberty) fear that his August resignation may not have been binding. In response, they arrange a special event for Oliver, and all of Boston is invited to attend.

Questions to Consider

1. What does this notice announce?

2. When and where will the event take place? Why do the Sons of Liberty choose this place for the event?

3. Why would the Sons of Liberty want to invite as many people as possible to this event?

Further Exploration

4. Imagine that you are Andrew Oliver and prepare a resignation speech to deliver to the people of Boston.