The Fatal Stamp
The Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765 was the first direct tax on the American colonists. It required the use of stamped paper produced in Britain for every legal and trade document, newspapers, and even dice. The revenue gained from this tax would help pay for the British troops defending the American colonies.
The colonists opposed the act on the grounds of taxation without representation. Some refused to pay it, while others threatened harm to the stamp distributors.
Jonas Green, printer of the Maryland Gazette, protested the act by publishing the death's head stamp in place of the required stamps on the paper.