Thomas Ringgold Biography

December 5, 1715, 1721–April 1, 1772

Thomas Ringgold was a merchant and politician from Maryland. He participated in the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.

Early Life

  • Ringgold was born on December 5, 1715, in Kent County, Maryland.
  • His father was Thomas Ringgold, and his mother was Rebecca Wilmer.

Political Career

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 Maryland, chose to send delegates to the meeting, which was held in New York City. Ringgold was elected as a delegate from Maryland, along with Edward Tilghman Sr. and William Murdock.

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 Congress sent petitions to the King and both houses of Parliament and asked for the Stamp Act to be repealed.

Ringgold 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On March 18, 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, primarily due to protest from British merchants who believed it would damage their prospects of doing business in the colonies.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.


  • Ringgold died on April 1, 1772, in Kent County, Maryland.


Thomas Ringgold is important because he was a delegate from Maryland to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.