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Remembering The Stamp Act Riots

Published
Dozens of historical re-enactors gather in Newport Saturday to mark the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots, which were among the early rumblings...

 

Dozens of historical re-enactors gather in Newport Saturday to mark the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots, which were among the early rumblings of the Revolutionary War.

Taking their lead from rebels in Massachusetts, a group of Newport residents rioted in 1765 against the Stamp Act. The legislation, approved in England, levied a new import tax on the colony.

The protestors marched through the streets of Newport, targeting residents who had supported the Stamp Act, including a British Loyalist named Martin Howard.

"They broke down the door," said Newport Historical Society spokeswoman Elizabeth Sulock. "They tried to tear down the chimney, they stole his furniture and his books."

On Saturday, about 40 re-enactors from across New England will recreate the riots, marching through the streets of Newport in period costumes. 

"So we’ve got people who are representing upper class ladies, we’ve got craftspeople, we’ve got a printer, we’ve got sailors," said Sulock, noting the recreation will not be as violent as the actual protest. "Visitors can come, they can talk to the interpreters, they can learn about how the stamp act and the relating tax would have affected their lives."

In period costume, historical interpreters recreate the Stamp Act Riots of 1765.
In period costume, historical interpreters recreate the Stamp Act Riots of 1765.