FYI November 01, 2019

On This Day

1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act on the Thirteen Colonies in order to help pay for British military operations in North America.
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.[1][2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] An American attorney refuted this 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8][9]



Born On This Day

1848 – Caroline Still Anderson, African-American physician, educator and abolitionist (d. 1919)[2]
Caroline Still Anderson (November 1, 1848 – June 1 or 2,[2][3] 1919) was an American physician, educator, and activist.[4] She was a pioneering physician in the Philadelphia African-American community and one of the first Black women to become a physician in the United States.[1]

Early life and education
On November 1, 1848, she was born Caroline Virginia Still, the oldest daughter of Letitia and William Still in Philadelphia.[4] Sources disagree as to her mother’s name; she has been called both Letitia and Lucy.[2] Her parents were both leaders in the American abolitionist movement; her father led the Philadelphia branch of the Underground Railroad beginning shortly after Caroline’s birth.[3] As a child, she attended Mrs. Gordon’s Private School, The Friends’ Raspberry Alley School, and the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). Though these schools were costly, her father’s lucrative coal industry position allowed him to afford a good education for his daughter.[2] He believed very strongly in the value of education for his daughters and encouraged Caroline to pursue her education seriously.[1] She finished her primary and secondary education at 16, whereupon she matriculated at Oberlin College, the only black student in her class. She earned her degree at 19, the youngest student in her graduating class.[4] After receiving her Bachelor of Arts, she was elected the first black president of the Ladies’ Literary Society of Oberlin.[2]

Still married her first husband, Edward A. Wiley, an Oberlin alum and former slave, in a ceremony that took place at the Still home on December 28, 1869. The wedding was attended by many luminaries of the U.S. antislavery movement, and included a performance by Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield.[3] Two years after her first husband’s death, in 1875, Still matriculated at the Howard University College of Medicine, though she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she transferred in 1876 and graduated in 1878. Of her class of 17, two were black.[4] While in school, she worked as a drawing and speech teacher to pay her way.[2]

After she graduated from college, Still moved back to Philadelphia and became a teacher of elocution, drawing, and music, a career path she continued until 1875, two years after her husband’s death. She began her medical career in 1878 with an internship at Boston’s New England Hospital for Women and Children. Still’s initial application was rejected by the racist board of the hospital, and she was appointed only after visiting the city and meeting with the board in person; awed by her talent, they repudiated their earlier decision, appointing Still to the internship by a unanimous vote.[4]

After her internship ended in 1879, she moved back to her hometown and remarried, opening a dispensary in her husband’s church as well as founding a private medical practice. By 1889, Anderson had revived her career as an educator, teaching hygiene, physiology, and public speaking while continuing her medical practice. That year, she and her husband founded a vocational and liberal arts school called the Berean Manual Training and Industrial School, Anderson was the assistant principal in addition to her teaching roles.[2][4] She also practiced medicine at Quaker institutions in Philadelphia.[3] Her career came to an end when she suffered a paralytic stroke in 1914.[2][4]

Social activism
In her later years, Anderson became a social activist, working with several organizations in the city of Philadelphia for several causes, including temperance and racial equality. She supported the temperance movement as the president of the Berean Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, organized Black YMCAs in Philadelphia, and was a board member of the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored People of Philadelphia.[4] Anderson also was a member of the Philadelphia branch of the Women’s Medical Society and the treasurer of the Women’s Medical College Alumnae Association.[2]

Anderson’s work for the black community of Philadelphia was praised by W.E.B. Du Bois, especially her work with the Berean Institute.[3]

Personal life
While studying at Oberlin, Still met Edward Wiley and married him in 1869 at the age of 21. In the four years they were married, the couple had two children, Letitia and William. The marriage ended when Wiley died suddenly in 1873. Still married again in 1880, to a minister named Matthew Anderson.[4] Anderson was also an Oberlin alum, along with having studied at Yale University and Princeton University.[3] The Andersons had five children together, three of whom survived to adulthood: Helen, Maude, and Margaret. Anderson died on June 1 or 2, 1919 in Philadelphia of complications from her strokes.[3][4] She was 70 years old.[5] Multiple dates are given for her death.[2][3][4]



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