Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation Freeing Slaves to Fight Against Colonists (November 7, 1775)


Lord Dunmore's Proclamation on Dr. Susan Rempel's BingoforPatriots.com;

Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, November 7, 1775

By His Excellency the Right Honorable JOHN Earl of DUNMORE, his Majesty’s Lieutenant and
Governour-General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice-Admiral of the same:*

As I have ever entertained Hopes that an Accommodation might have taken Place between Great
Britain and this Colony, without being compelled, by my Duty, to this most disagreeable, but
now absolutely necessary Step, rendered so by a Body of armed Men, unlawfully assembled,
firing on his Majesty’s Tenders, and the Formation of an Army, and that Army now on their
March to attack his Majesty’s Troops, and destroy the well-disposed Subjects of this Colony: To
defeat such treasonable Purposes, and that all such Traitors, and their Abettors, may be brought
to Justice, and that the Peace and good Order of this Colony may be again restored, which the
ordinary Course of the civil Law is unable to effect, I have thought fit to issue this my
Proclamation, hereby declaring, that until the aforesaid good Purposes can be obtained, I do, in
Virtue of the Power and Authority to me given, by his Majesty, determine to execute martial
Law, and cause the same to be executed throughout this Colony; and to the End that Peace and
good Order may the sooner be restored, I do require every Person capable of bearing Arms to
resort to his Majesty’s STANDARD, or be looked upon as Traitors to his Majesty’s Crown and
Government, and thereby become liable to the Penalty the Law inflicts upon such Offences, such
as Forfeiture of Life, Confiscation of Lands, &c. &c. And I do hereby further declare all
indentured Servants, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels) free, that are able and willing to
bear Arms, they joining his Majesty’s Troops, as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing
this Colony to a proper Sense of their Duty, to his Majesty’s Crown and Dignity. I do further
order, and require, all his Majesty’s liege Subjects to retain their Quitrents, or any other Taxes
due, or that may become due, in their own Custody, till such Time as Peace may again be
restored to this at present most unhappy Country, or demanded of them for their former salutary
Purposes, by Officers properly authorised to receive the same.
GIVEN under my Hand, on board the ship WILLIAM, off Norfolk, the 7th Day of November, in
the 16th Year of his Majesty’s Reign.