Representing one of the first inklings of organized protest toward British rule, the Stamp Act of 1765, imposed to defray the cost of defending the colonies, caused a stir that had the added effect of uniting the colonies in common cause. Rather than looking to their mother country, they began to look to each other.
On the left, in red, is what was printed on a one-penny stamp to be affixed on copies of a newspaper, from an image of proofs produced May 10, 1765.
Scale: about 400%
Original medium: engraved copper, intaglio
On the right, in black, is the reply that appeared on the designated place for the stamp, the lower right corner of the front page of The Pennsylvania Journal and weekly Advertiser, on October 24, 1765.
The same “death’s head” (skull and crossbones) illustration appeared in another edition, in the same place, with the caption, “An Emblem of the Effects of the STAMP.” and “O! the fatal STAMP”.
Scale: about 300%
Original medium: printing lead or wood, relief