British Parliament, the popular party held the control of the New York legislature. Accordingly among all the colonial legislatures New York's stood foremost in stout asseration of the right of the colonies to the full enjoyment of liberty, and in protest against taxation without representation. The New York newspapers were especially fervid in denouncing the law, while the legislature appointed a committee to correspond concerning the subject with the legislative bodies of the other colonies. Finally the Stamp Act Congress met in New York, nine of the thirteen colonies being represented, and voted a Declaration of Rights and an Address to the King. But the people themselves, acting through the suddenly raised, and often secret or semi-secret, organizations, took more effective measures of protest than either congress or legislature. The most influential of these societies was that styled the Sons of Liberty; all of them were raised in the first place with an excellent purpose, and numbered in their ranks many stanch and wise patriots, but like all such organizations they tended to pass under the control of men whose violence better fitted them to raise mobs than to carry through a great revolution.
The arrival in New York of the first ship bearing a cargo of the hated stamps produced intense excitement. The merchants met in a tavern and