Oliver, Andrew (DNB00)
OLIVER, ANDREW (1706–1774), lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 28 March 1706, was son of Daniel Oliver, by Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Belcher. His father, a member of the council, was a son of Captain Peter Oliver, an eminent merchant, and grandson of Thomas Oliver, a surgeon and ruling elder of Boston Church, who arrived in Boston from London in 1632. Andrew graduated at Harvard in 1724. He was chosen a member of the general court and afterwards of the council. In 1748 he was sent with Governor Thomas Hutchinson as a commissioner to the Albany congress that met to conclude peace with the heads of the Six Nations, and arrange a rectification of the frontier. In 1766 he was appointed secretary of the province, when the British parliament passed the Stamp Act he accepted the office of distributor of stamps, and in consequence nearly lost his seat on the council. On 14 Aug. 1765 he was hanged in effigy between figures of Lord Bute and George Grenville, on the large elm called the 'liberty tree.' In the evening the mob, with cries of 'Liberty, property, and no stamps!' demolished the structure that was building for a stamp-office. The next morning Oliver signed a public pledge that he would not act as stamp-officer.
A few months later it was rumoured that Oliver intended to enforce the Stamp Act, and on the day of the opening of parliament the 'Sons of Liberty' compelled him to march to the tree and there renew his promise in a speech, and take oath before a justice of the peace, Richard Dana, 'that he would never, directly or indirectly, take measures for the collection of the stamp-duty.' In October 1770 he was appointed lieutenant-governor. Greatly to his annoyance, some letters which he had written to Thomas Whateley, one of the secretaries of the treasury, in 1768 and 1769, fell into Benjamin Franklin's hands soon after Whateley's death, and were laid before the assembly in 1772. The worst possible construction was put upon them, and Oliver's removal demanded.
Oliver died at Boston on 3 March 1774. His remains were followed to the grave by a howling mob, and in the evening a coffin, rope, and gallows were exhibited in the window of one of the public offices. Oliver married first on 20 June 1728 Mary (d. 1732), daughter of Thomas Fitch, by whom he had two sous and a daughter, and secondly, on 5 July 1733, Mary (d. 1773), daughter of William Sanford, sister of Governor Thomas Hutchinson's wife, by whom he had seven sons and seven daughters. Two of his sons, Andrew (1731-1799) and William Sanford (1748-1813), were prominent on the royalist side during the revolution.
A photograph of his portrait by Copley is in Thomas Hutchinson s 'Diary.'
[Whitmore's Descendants of W. Hutchinson and T. Oliver, 1866; Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson, ed. P. O. Hutchinson ; Appleton's Cyclop, of Amer. Biogr.]