Seeking Liberty, Annapolis: An imagined community

Text Panels:

Annapolis Alive!


An Imagined Community










death's head type
image of the death's head print from the Maryland Gazette newspaper

The Stamp Act was created in Parliament to stop newspapers from fomenting revolutionary ideas in the American colonies. The Act was regarded as a fatal blow to free speech. All newspaper editors understood this. Jonas Green, owner and editor of the Maryland Gazette, joined many others in protesting the Stamp Act in 1765. His headline was “The Maryland Gazette, EXPIRING: In Uncertain Hopes of a Resurrection to Life Again.” In the lower right hand corner of his front page, he placed a skull and crossbones, instead of the stamp. He wrote about the expiration of free speech. The piece of type you see here was often used to head obituaries. Jonas and his equally patriotic spouse Anne Catharine celebrated liberty throughout their terms as editors of the Gazette. When Archaeology in Annapolis excavated the remains of their print shop, the piece of type used to create the image on the front page was recovered. 

carved tortoise shell

Piece of carved tortoise shell found as part of a “cache” of materials from the Brice House. This piece, and associated materials, were found at the base of a lightning rod in the yard of the house. These materials are indicative of West African religious practices. This piece of tortoise shell is still a mystery, and its exact purpose is unknown.

To read more about this artifact click here to visit the exhibit blog.