New Exhibits on Display at Karpeles Museum

NEWBURGH – The Stamp Act and the Intolerable Acts exhibit (British Laws that Led to the American Revolution) will be on display through Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is located at 94 Broadway, across from City Hall, in the City of Newburgh.

The British colonies in America had many problems with the home country that governed them. One of the first and worst was the law passed by the British Parliament in 1765 requiring the colonists to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used, including legal documents, licenses, newspapers, and even playing cards. This so-called “Stamp Act” was established to help Britain pay the costs of defending the American frontier, but the colonists protested that the English had no right to to tax them without giving them a voice in the British government.

In 1774 Parliament adopted five more laws further limiting the colonists’ independence,  four of them passed as punishment for the 1773 political protest known as the Boston Tea Party. These regulations closed the Port of Massachusetts till the tea destroyed there was paid for. They also provided for the free quartering of British troops in the American colonies and gave British officials in conflict with the American authorities the right to trial in England. The new laws so outraged the colonists that they became officially known as the “Intolerable Acts,” and were among the final sparks that ignited the Revolutionary war.

The collection of historical documents on display at the Karpeles Museum through July includes the signed register of delegates to the 1765 New York Congress that drew up a petition to King George III and the Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act, the official hand-written instructions signed by King George enforcing the Quartering Act in 1767, and a manuscript of a 1767 law taxing the importation of slaves signed by the governor of New Jersey William Franklin, the son of Benjamin Franklin, among many other significant historical documents.

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