Stamp Act Trees? Huh?

The oldest trees on Princeton’s campus are a pair of sycamores that were planted to commemorate the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766.

I know, I know. I could have used any deciduous trees to indicate the passing of time and the changing seasons. In fact, in early drafts I used elm trees, which are also significant to Princeton’s campus. However, in a chapter dealing largely with the extent to which it is healthy to use the past as a predictor of future behavior, I thought a passing reference to American history would remind readers that this is something we’re told to do—that things that happened a long time ago matter. The fact that all of my American readers (and good chunk of the rest of you) know all about the Stamp Act just reinforces the theme of the chapter—the idea that no one ever really lets go of the past.

Maclean House, Princeton University

On the left-hand side of this picture, you can see one of the Stamp Act trees.

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  1. on 27 Mar 2010 at 4:25 pmPenny

    Hi SV…

    Thanks for explaining the Stamp Act Tree. I had never heard of it. I understand it now and yes I agree that no one really lets go of the past. It is a difficult thing to do but it just goes to show that no matter what has happened the only thing that can you can change is the future.

    That's my own opinion from my childhood past.
    =-)

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  2. on 27 Mar 2010 at 4:30 pmmeilleur cafe

    I especially love the local landmarks in your stories because I know just about all of them. I still can't believe I got all excited when you mentioned The Princetonian Diner. Talk about a dork.

    BTW, the Mercer Oak is impatiently awaiting mention in your story for its own 15 minutes of ficfame.

    [Reply]


  3. on 27 Mar 2010 at 4:30 pmmeilleur cafe

    I especially love the local landmarks in your stories because I know just about all of them. I still can't believe I got all excited when you mentioned The Princetonian Diner. Talk about a dork.

    BTW, the Mercer Oak is impatiently awaiting mention in your story for its own 15 minutes of ficfame.

    [Reply]