Stamp Tax

The Stamp Act of 1765 was largely responsible for enabling the American Revolution, as we all know. However, for those of us that can after the 50s, it may be shocking to learn that the United States used revenue stamps for various services through 1958. Documentary stamps were the most common of these stamps and were often used to pay notary and sale fees for land sales. Below you can see $39.60 in documentary stamps to complete a sale between A.G. Becker and W.T. Pulliam for the conveyance of an 80-acre tract out of the Memory Gardens of Corpus Christi. The stamps were frequently used during periods of conflict to generate additional revenue for war efforts. Today they are more of a collector’s item, although they still retain their value as official printed currency. With the frequent issuance of revenue stamps throughout American history, the argument that it was the lack of representation that pushed colonists to revolution opposed to the unwillingness to pay taxes hold a little more weight.