On This Day
1824 – The Anglo-Dutch Treaty is signed in London, dividing the Malay archipelago. As a result, the Malay Peninsula is dominated by the British, while Sumatra and Java and surrounding areas are dominated by the Dutch.
The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, also known as the Treaty of London, was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in London on 17 March 1824. The treaty was to resolve disputes arising from the execution of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814. For the Dutch, it was signed by Hendrik Fagel and Anton Reinhard Falck, and for the British, George Canning and Charles Williams-Wynn.
1766 – American Revolution: The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act.
The Stamp Act of 1765 (short title: Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a direct tax on the British colonies in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. Printed materials included legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers, and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies, and it had to be paid in British currency, not in colonial paper money.
The purpose of the tax was to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War, but the colonists had never feared a French invasion to begin with, and they contended that they had already paid their share of the war expenses. They suggested that it was actually a matter of British patronage to surplus British officers and career soldiers who should be paid by London.
The Stamp Act was very unpopular among colonists. A majority considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent—consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Their slogan was “No taxation without representation”. Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests, and the Stamp Act Congress held in New York City was the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure when it petitioned Parliament and the King.
One member of the British Parliament argued that the American colonists were no different from the 90-percent of Great Britain who did not own property and thus could not vote, but who were nevertheless “virtually” represented by land-owning electors and representatives who had common interests with them. Daniel Dulany, a Maryland attorney and politician, refuted this in a widely read pamphlet by pointing out that the relations between the Americans and the English electors were “a knot too infirm to be relied on” for proper representation, “virtual” or otherwise. Local protest groups established Committees of Correspondence which created a loose coalition from New England to Maryland. Protests and demonstrations increased, often initiated by the Sons of Liberty and occasionally involving hanging of effigies. Very soon, all stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, and the tax was never effectively collected.
Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers pressured Parliament because their exports to the colonies were threatened by boycotts. The Act was repealed on 18 March 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” by also passing the Declaratory Act. A series of new taxes and regulations then ensued—likewise opposed by the Americans. The episode played a major role in defining the 27 colonial grievances that were clearly stated within the text of the Indictment of George III section of the United States Declaration of Independence, enabling the organized colonial resistance which led to the American Revolution in 1775.
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Born On This Day
1846 – Kate Greenaway, English author and illustrator (d. 1901)
Catherine Greenaway (17 March 1846 – 6 November 1901) was an English Victorian artist and writer, known for her children’s book illustrations. She received her education in graphic design and art between 1858 and 1871 from South Kensington School of Art and the Royal Female School of Art, and the Slade School of Fine Art. She began her career designing for the burgeoning holiday card market, producing Christmas and Valentine’s cards. In 1879 wood-block engraver and printer, Edmund Evans, printed Under the Window, an instant best-seller, which established her reputation. Her collaboration with Evans continued throughout the 1880s and 1890s.
The depictions of children in imaginary 18th-century costumes in a Queen Anne style were extremely popular in England and internationally, sparking the Kate Greenaway style. Within a few years of the publication of Under the Window Greenaway’s work was imitated in England, Germany and the United States.
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1870 – Agnes Sime Baxter, Canadian mathematician (d. 1917)
Agnes Sime Baxter (Hill) (18 March 1870 – 9 March 1917) was a Canadian-born mathematician. She studied at Dalhousie University, receiving her BA in 1891, and her MA in 1892. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1895; her dissertation was “On Abelian integrals”, a resume of Neumann’s Abelian integral with comments and applications.”
Agnes Sime Baxter was born on March 18, 1870, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Baxter family had emigrated to Canada from Scotland. Her father, Robert Baxter, was manager of the Halifax Gas Light Company, having managed a Scottish electric light company before moving to Nova Scotia.
Baxter enrolled at Dalhousie University in 1887. Her primary courses of study were mathematics and mathematical physics. Despite the relative lack of female scholars in these areas, Baxter received her bachelor’s degree in 1891 and was the first women at the university to gain a honours degree. She received multiple awards at graduation, including the Sir William Young Medal for highest standing in mathematics and mathematical physics. She completed her master’s degree at Dalhousie in 1892.
From 1892 to 1894, she held a fellowship at Cornell University in New York. On the completion of her thesis, “On Abelian integrals, a resume of Neumann’s ‘Abelsche Integrele’ with comments and applications,” she became the second Canadian woman and the fourth North American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. Her supervisor James Edward Oliver’s mathematical notes were edited by Baxter in 1894 and later published.
Agnes Baxter married Dr. Albert Ross Hill on August 20, 1896. The marriage produced two daughters. Agnes chose not to teach at the institutions where her husband was a professor, although Albert credited her with assisting him in his work.
Agnes Ross Hill died on March 9, 1917, in Columbia, Missouri, after protracted illness and was buried in the Columbia Cemetery. On her death, her husband Albert Ross Hill wanted his wife’s memory to be preserved donated $1000 to Dalhousie University for the purchase a collection of books at Dalhousie University. The University also created the Agnes Baxter Reading Room within the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computing Sciences.
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