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Andrew Oliver

John Singleton Copleyc. 1758

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Although Andrew Oliver, a Massachusetts colonial officeholder of nearly thirty years' standing, regarded the Stamp Act as a "public Misfortune," he agreed to accept the office of collector of stamps. After a mob swarmed over his garden, violated his house, and threatened his life, Oliver gave the impression that he would resign his post. When he did not, his effigy was hung from the Liberty Tree, the site of patriotic protest. While standing under the tree in the rain, Oliver was forced to swear that he would take no measures for enforcing an act "which is so grievous to the People."

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