Oliver Partridge was a lawyer and politician from Hatfield, Massachusetts. He participated in key events that shaped the American Revolution, including the Albany Congress and Stamp Act Congress.
- Partridge was born on June 13, 1712, in Hatfield, Massachusetts.
- His father was Edward Partridge and his mother was Martha Williams.
- In 1730, he graduated from Yale, where he studied law.
- On October 10, 1734, he married Anna Williams in Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
- They had 13 children together.
- Partridge became a successful lawyer in Hatfield.
- In 1734, Partridge was appointed joint Clerk of the Court of Hampshire County.
- Nearly every year from 1731 to 1774, he served as a selectman for Hatfield.
- He was a representative to the Massachusetts General Court in 1741, 1761, and 1765 to 1767.
- From 1741 to 1743, he was the High Sheriff of Hampshire County.
- In 1754, he represented Massachusetts at the Albany Congress.
- In 1765, he represented Massachusetts at the Stamp Act Congress.
- From 1780 to 1781, he served as a selectman for Hatfield.
King George’s War
- In June 1744, Governor William Shirley appointed him to a committee to oversee the construction of a line of forts that would help protect the western frontier against the French and their allies from the Native Tribes.
- In June 1754, Partridge was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Albany Congress.
Delegate to the Stamp Act Congress
On March 22, 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which required a stamp to be placed on all legal documents and many printed materials in the colonies.
In May, news of the new law reached the colonies. There was immediate opposition, including riots in Boston, Massachusetts, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Savannah, Georgia.
On June 8, 1765, the Massachusetts Assembly sent a circular letter to the legislatures of the other colonies, inviting them to send delegates to a congress in New York to discuss a unified response to the Stamp Act. The precedent for such a meeting had been set by the Albany Congress in 1754.
Nine of the 13 colonies, including Massachusetts, chose to send delegates to the meeting, which was held in New York City. Partridge was elected as a delegate from Massachusetts, along with James Otis and Timothy Ruggles.
The Stamp Act Congress convened on October 7, 1765. On October 19, the Stamp Act Congress issued a Declaration of Rights and Grievances. Congress sent petitions to the King and both houses of Parliament and asked for the Stamp Act to be repealed.
Partridge signed his name to the petitions that were sent to the King and Parliament.
On November 1, 1765, the Stamp Act took effect, but there were no stamp masters available to distribute the stamps. They had resigned or refused to perform their job due to violence and intimidation against them.
On March 18, 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, primarily due to protest from British merchants who believed it would damage their prospects of doing business in the colonies. However, on that same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act, which declared its ability to levy taxes on the colonies.
- Partridge died on July 21, 1792, at the age of 80, in Hatfield, Massachusetts.
- He was buried at Hill Cemetery in Hatfield.
Oliver Partridge is important because he was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Albany Congress in 1755 and the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.