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Otsego Herald

December 26, 2013

Stamp Tax

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Dec. 25, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Tax on Bank Documents

STAMP DUTIES. The following stamp duties on the promissory notes to be discounted at the banks, and on bills of exchange, are to be paid after the 31st December, 1813.

On any promissory note or bill of exchange not exceeding $100.00 -- $00.05

[rising list of stamp tax rates, up to:]

Above $8000 -- $5.00

After the 31st of December instant, no promissory note will be discounted at any of the banks unless the note be written on stamped paper.

COMMENT: It will be remembered that one of the causes of the American Revolution was the imposition of stamp taxes by the British colonial authorities. Stamp taxes are taxes requiring that certain objects or papers have tax stamps (purchased from the government) placed on them, or, in the case of documents, that they be printed on paper including such a tax stamp (usually embossed). In my own youth, packs of cigarettes, bottles of liquor, and decks of playing cards all still required Federal tax stamps.

Proclamation to Canadians

JAMES WILKINSON, Major-General and Commander in Chief of an expedition against the Canadas, to the Inhabitants thereof.

The army of the United States which I have the honor to command, invades these provinces to conquer, and not to destroy; to subdue the forces of his Britannic Majesty, not to war against his unoffending subjects. Those, therefore, among you, who remain quiet at home, should victory incline to the American Standard, shall be protected in their persons and property. But those who are found in arms must necessarily be treated as avowed enemies.

To menace is unjust—to seduce dishonorable—Yet it is just and humane to place these alternatives before you.

Done at the Head Quarters of the Army of the United States, this 6th day of November, 1813, near Ogdensburg, on the River St. Lawrence.

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