to George Weedon

Walker, John (1744 - 1809) to George Weedon

GLC #: GLC06500.03 Date: 25 July 1780 Object Type: Autograph letter signed

Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, 1775

A primary source by John Murray, Lord Dunmore
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Primary Source
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John Murray, Lord Dunmore

On November 7, 1775, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation that established martial law and offered freedom to slaves who would leave patriotic owners and join the British army.

In April 1775, John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore and Virginia’s royal governor, threatened to free slaves and reduce the capital, Williamsburg, to ashes if the colonists rebelled against British authority. In the months that followed, Dunmore’s position became increasingly desperate. His troop strength fell to just 300 men and, on June 8, fearful of being attacked, he abandoned the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg for the safety of a British ship.

Inline body image(s): 
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore by Joshua Reynolds, 1765 (National Galleries Sc
Dunmore’s Proclamation, printed in the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertise
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by Colin G. Calloway