Stamp Act Congress

October 7, 1765–October 25, 1765

The Stamp Act Congress was the first unified meeting of the colonies to respond to British policies. Delegates from nine colonies came together to discuss a response to the Stamp Act.

On March 22, 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, requiring that stamps be purchased and placed on all legal documents and printed materials in the American colonies. To Parliament’s great surprise, outraged Americans responded angrily with legislative protests and street violence. 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 “consult together on the present circumstances of the colonies”.

From October 7 through October 25, 1765, delegates from 9 of the 13 colonies met in New York to discuss a unified colonial response to the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act Congress drafted a Declaration of Rights and Grievances on October 19. which stated among other things that 1) only the colonial assemblies had a right to tax the colonies, 2) trial by jury was a right, and the use of Admiralty Courts was abusive 3) colonists possessed all the Rights of Englishmen, and 4) without voting rights, Parliament could not represent the colonists. The Stamp Act Congress was a significant historical event because it was the first unified meeting of the American colonies to respond to British colonial policies.

Participants of the Stamp Act Congress


  • Eliphalet Dyler
  • William Johnson
  • David Rowland


  • Thomas McKean
  • Caesar Rodney


  • William Murdock
  • Edward Tighman
  • Thomas Ringgold


  • Sam Adams
  • James Otis
  • Oliver Partridge
  • Timothy Ruggles

New Jersey

  • Hendrick Fisher
  • Joseph Gordon
  • Robert Ogden

New York

  • William Bayard
  • John Cruger
  • Leonard Lispinard
  • Phillip Livingston
  • Robert Livingston


  • George Bryan
  • John Dickinson
  • John Morton

Rhode Island

  • Metcalf Bowler
  • Henry Ward

South Carolina

  • Christopher Gadsden
  • Thomas Lynch
  • John Rutledge

Officers of the Stamp Act Congress

President – Timothy Ruggles

Secretary – John Cotton

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Stamp Act Congress
  • Coverage October 7, 1765–October 25, 1765
  • Author
  • Keywords stamp act congress
  • Website Name American History Central
  • URL
  • Access Date June 3, 2020
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 13, 2018

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