A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


Andrew Oliver

28 March 1706 - 3 March 1774

Andrew Oliver was born to a wealthy merchant family in Boston. In 1734, he married Mary Sanford, Governor Thomas Hutchinson's sister-in-law, and throughout his career, Oliver maintained close political and personal ties with the Hutchinsons. In 1765, Oliver reluctantly accepted the post of stamp distributor under the Stamp Act and was hanged in effigy from the Liberty Tree on 14 August as a result. That night, an incensed mob attacked his house and he resigned his commission the next day, though many still suspected he would eventually retake his post. On 17 December, the Sons of Liberty coerced Oliver into taking an oath under the Liberty Tree that he would never enforce the Stamp Act. In 1770, Oliver was commissioned as lieutenant-governor, an office which he served until his death.