eXplorations>The Revolution>Teacher Resources>The Repeal or the Funeral of Miss Americ-Stamp

The Repeal or the Funeral of Miss Americ-Stamp

Attributed to Benjamin Wilson (March 18, 1766)

Prints and Photgraphs Division, Library of Congress
London : Printed for & sold by Carington Bowles, No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, [1766 or later]

The text above the vault reads:

Within this Family Vault, Lie Interred, it is to be hoped never to rise again, The Star Chamber Court Ship Money Excise Money & all Imposts without Parliament. The Act de Haeritico Comburendo Hearth Mon Gener Warrants And which tended to alienate the Affections of Englishmen to their Country.

Text below the cartoon reads:

1st column:

Over the Vault are placed two Skeleton Heads. Their elevation on Poles, and the dates of the two Rebellion Years, sufficiently shew what Party they espoused, and in what cause they suffered an ignominious Exit.

The reverend Mr.Anti-Sejanus (who under that signature hackney'd his pen in support of the Stamps) leads the procession as officiating Priest, with the burial service and funeral sermon in his hands.

Next follow two eminent Pillars of the Law, supporting two black flags, on which are delineated the Stamps with the White Rose and Thistle interwoved, an expressive design, supposed to have been originally contrived on the 10 of June. The significative motto Semper Eadem is preserved, but the Price of the Stamp

2nd column:

is changed to three farthings, an important sum taken from the Budget. The numbers 122 and 71 declare the minority which fought under these Banners.

Next appears the honourable Mr. George Stamp, full of Grief and dispair, carrying his favourite Childs Coffin, Miss Americ Stamp, who was born in 1763 and died hard in 1766.

Immediately after, follows the chief Mourner Sejanus.

Then his Grace of Spital Fields, and Lord Gawkee.

After these Jemmy Twitcher, with a Catch, by way of funeral anthem, & by his side his friend and partner Mr. Falconer Donaldson of Halifax.

3rd column:

The rear is brought up by two right reverend Fathers of the Church.

These few mourners are seperated from the joyful scene which appears on the River Thames, where three first rate ships are riding. VIZ. the Conway, Rockingham, and Grafton. Along the opposite Shore, stand open Warehouses, for the several goods of different manufactoring towns from which Cargoes are now shipping for America. Among these is a large Case containing the Statue of Mr. Pitt, which is heaving on board a Boat No. 250, there is another boat taking in goods nearer the first Rates, which is No. 105. These Numbers will ever be held in esteem by the true SONS of LIBERTY.

This cartoon, which celebrates the end of the Stamp Tax, is said to be "one of the most famous and popular of the political satires commenting on the Stamp Act." This print became one of the most copied satirical prints of the time period.

The cartoon shows a funeral procession of supporters of the act carrying a small coffin containing the remains of the bill toward an open vault. The vault has been prepared for the burial of all unjust acts that would alienate Englishmen.
Leading the procession and preparing to deliver the funeral eulogy is the Reverend W. Scott, who under the name "Anti-Sejanus," published letters in support of the Stamp Act in London's Public Advertiser.

Scott is followed by the mourners: Solicitor General Wedderburn and Attorney General Norton, who are mockingly referred to as "Two Pillars of the Law" in the text.

"George Stamp" in the foreground holding the coffin, represents George Grenville. Lord Grenville is shown "carrying his favourite Childs Coffin, Miss Americ Stamp, who was born in 1763 and died hard in 1766."

Following him are Bute, Bedford, and Temple, some of the same Englishmen who were responsible for passing the act.

The dates on the skulls above the vault refer to the uprisings by the Jacobites, supporters of King James after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They continued to believe that the authority of the king came from God not Parliament.
The black flags carried by Wederburn and Norton contain the numbers 71 and 122 which reference the number of votes against the repeal of the Stamp Act in the house of Lords and Commons.

The ships in the background are labeled "Conway," "Rockingham," and "Grafton." They represent the Parliamentary leaders responsible for the repeal of the bill now stand ready to carry the goods to America.

By setting the action on a dock, the artist is able to show the large unshipped cargoes destined for America that accumulated during the period when the act was in force.

 

A small dog makes a gesture under Reverend Scott.

Stamps just returned from America are also stacked on the wharf.

Directly behind the bale of stamps, is a crate containing a statue of William Pitt, Grenville's archenemy in the Stamp Act controversy.

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