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wise, to be rebels and traitors, and as such to bejby landing in different parts of the country, treated.
keep them in continual hot water; but as cap And whereas, during the continuance of the Leslie tells me he means to give you particul present unnatural rebellion, justice cannot be ad. enough, I shall say no more on tbat subject. Am ministered by the common law of the land, the the prisoners, we have taken one Oliver, Por course wliereof has, for a long time past, been and Deane, two natives of Boston, bringi violently impeded, and wholly interrupted; from in gunpowder to North Carolina. The latter v whence resulis a necessi'y for using and exercis. sent from Boston to influence the minds of the pe ing the law martial: I have therefore thought fit, ple, in which he has been but too successful. H by the authority vested in me, by the royal cha"- was taken from on board a schooner going from ter to this province, to publists, and I do hereby this place to the Western Islands, to bring powder piiblishi, proclaim and order the use and exercise to this colony; and the others have carried arms of the law martial, within and throughout this against his majesty in this province. I have sent province, for so long time as the present unhappy them more with a view of intimidating others than occasion shall necessarily require; whereof all to punish them, as they expect here that, so sure persons are hereby required to take notice, and as they are sent to Boston, they are to be hanged. govern themselves, as well to maintain order and Robinson is a delegate of our convention. Maiiilews regularity among the peaceable inhabitants of the was a captain of their minute-men. Perhaps they province, as to resist, encounter and subdue the may be of some use to you, in exchanging them resels and traitors above.lescribed by such as shall for good men. The sloop not sailing so soon as ! be called upon for those purposes.
expected, I have to inform you tha', on the 14th
inst. I had information that a party of about a To these inevitable, but I trust salutary mea. hundred of the Norih Carolina rebels had marched sures, it is a far more pleasing part of my duty to the assistance of those in this colony, and were to add the assurances of protection and support, posted a. a place called the Great-Bridge, a very to all who, in so trying a crisis, shall manisest
essential pass in the country. I accordingly emtheir allegiance to the king, and affection to the barked our little corps in boats, in the night of parent state. So that such persons as may have the 14'h, with between twenty and 30 volunteers been intimidated to quit their habitations in the from Norfolk. We landed within four miles of course of this alarra, may return to their respec. the bridge, and arrived there a little after day. tive callings and professions, and stand distinct ligh'; but, to our great mortification, found the and separate from the parricides of the constitu. birds hal i wn the evening befire. But hearing tion, till Gov, in his mercy, shall restore to his that a hody, between 2 and 300, of our rebels were creatures, in this distracted land, that system of within about ten miles of us, we determined to happiness from which they have been seduced, the
beat up their quarters, and accordingly proceeded religion of peace, and liberty founded upon law.
about eight miles, when they fired on our advanced Given at Boston, this twelfth day of June, in guards from the woods: on which I immediately
tie fifteenth year of the reign of his ma- ordered our people to rush in upon them, and at
pursued them for a mile or more, killed a few,
drox obers in o a creek, where they were drownBy his excellency's command:
ed, and took nine prisoners, among who n is one of Tao's FLOCKER, secretary.
their colo.els. We only had one man wounded, GOD SAVE THE KING.
who is recovering. liinineilia:ely upoz this issued
te enciosed p«clama jos; which has had a voiler. Lord Dunmore to General Howe.
ful effect, as there are no less than 300 who have WILLIAMSBURGU, VINGISIA, J411. 25 tak 'n and signed the enclused oatlı. The blacks The following is an extract of a letter from loril Dun. are also ficking in from all quarters, which I hope
more so general Ilze, Iluteil Vovember 30, 1775. will osrige the rebels to disperse, to take care of
“I must inform you, that with our litile corps I their families and property, and had I but a few think we have done wonders. We have taken an: more men here, I would immediately march to destroyed above fourscore pieces of ordnance, and I Williamsburgh, my former place of residence, by
which I should soon compel the whole colony to and I mak no doubi we shall now be able to main. submit. We are in great want of small arms; anil tain our ground there; but should we be obliged if two or three field pieces and their carriages to abandon it, we have thrown up an intrenchment could be spared, they would be of great service on the land side of Norfolk, which I hope they to us; also some cartridge paper, of which not a never will be able to force. Here we are contend. sheet is to be got in this country, and all our ing, with only a very small part of a regiment, cartridges are expended. Since the 19th of May against the extensive colony of Virginia. If you last I have not received a single line from any one veld but spare me, for a few months, the 64th in administration, though I have wrote volumes to regiment now in the castle, and the remaining part them, in each of which I have prayed to be instruct of the 14t", I really believe we should reduce this ed, but to no purpose. I am therefore determined colony to a proper sense of their duty." to go on doing the best of my power for his na jesty's service. I have accordingly ordered a regi Convention in Virginia. ment, called the Queen's own loyal regiment, of
Resolved, unanimously, that this convention do 500 men, fo be raised immediately, coilsisting of a hig'ly approve of col. Woodford's conduct, mani. lieutenant-colonel commandant, major, and ten fested, as well in the success of the troops under companies, each of which is to consist of one his coolmand, as in the humane treatment of, and captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, and fifty pri kind atten:jon to, the unfortunate, though brave vates, with non-commissioned olticers in propor- officers and solliers, who were made prisoners in tion. You may observe, by my proclamation, thus the late action near the Great Bridge, and that the I offor freedom to the blacks of all rebels that join me, president communicate to col. Woodford the sense in consequence of which there are between 2 and of his country on this occasion. 300 already come in, and those I film into corps as fast as they come in, giving them white officers and
Whereas lord Dunmore, by his proclamation, non-commissioners in proportion. -Ad from thes.
dated on board the ship William, the 7b day of two plans, 1 make no doubt of getting men enough November, 1775, bath presurned, in direct violation to reduce this colony to a proper sense of thei: of the constitution, and the laws of this country, duty. My next distress will be tbe want of arms, to declare martial law in force, and to be execuied accoutrements and money, all of which you may
throughout this colony, whereby our lives, our li. be able to relieve me from. The latter I am sure
beriy, and our property, are arbitrarily subjected you can, as there are many merchants here who to his power and direction: and whereas the said are ready to supply me, on my giving them bills lord Dunmore, assuming powers which the kirg on you, which you will have to withdraw, and give himself cannot exercise, to intimidate the good your own in their rooin. hope this mode will be people of this colony into a compliance with his
arbitrary will, halb declared those who do noi imagreeable to you; it is the same that general Gage proposed. I have now, in order to carry on the mediately repair to his standard, and subroit in all recruiting business, victualling, clothing, &c. drawn things to a government not warranted by the con. en you for £ 5000 sterling, and have appointed a pay.
stitution, to be in actual rebellion, and thereby to master, wlio will keep exact accounis.
have incurred the penalties inflicted by the laws
for such off:nces; and hath offered freedom to the would inform me, by the return of the sloop, what
servants and slaves of those he is pleased to terma bounty money may he given to those who enlist.
rebels, arming them against their masiers, and Having heard that 1000 cl.osen men be'o.ging to
destroying the peace and happiness of his inathe rebels, a great part of wbom were riflemen, were
jesty's good and faithful subjects, wbose property on their march to aita k us here, or to cut off our
is rendered insecure, and whose lives are exposed provisions, I determined to take possession of the
to the dangers of a general insurrection: We, as pass at the Great Bridge, whicla secures us the greatest part of two cour ies, to supply us witr
, guardians of the lives and liberiy of the people,
our constituents, conceived it to be indispensably provisions. I accordingly ordered a stockade to
our duty to protect them against every species of be ereced there, which was done in a few days; and I put an officer and 25 men to garrison it, wit! Jespo ism, and to endeavor to remove those fears
with which they are so justly alarmed. some volunteers and who have detended i against all the efforis of the rebels for these eight If it were possible the understandings of men days past. We bave killed several of their men, could be sa blinded, that every gleam of reason
I wish you
might be lost, the hope, his lordship says, he hath | seized and dragged to 'confinement, contrary ever entertained of an accommodation between the principles of liberty, and the constitution Great Britain and this colony, might now pass our country: yet have we borne this injurious tre unnoticed; but truth, justice, and common sense, ment with unexampled patience, unwilling to s must ever prevail, when facts can be appealed to the blood of our fellow-subjects, who, prosecut in their support. It is the peculiar happiness of the measures of a British parliament, would sac this colony, that his lordship can be traced as the fice our lives and property to a relentless fury a source of innumerable evils, and one of the princi. unabating avarice. If a governor can be authorise pal causes of the misfortunes under which we now even by majesty itself, to annul the laws of the land Jabor. A particular detail of his conduct, since his and to introduce the most execrable of all systems arrival in this colony, can be considered only as a the law martial; if, by his single fiat, he can strip repetition, it having been already fully published us of our property, can give freedom to our serto the world by the proceedings of the general vants and slaves, and arm them for our destruction, assembly, and a former convention; but the un- let us bid adieu to every thing valuable in life; let remitting violence with which his lordship endea. us at once bend our necks to the galling yoke, and vors to involve this country in the most dreadful hug the chains prepared for us and our latest pos. calamities, certainly affords new matter for the terity! Attention of the public, and will remove every
It is with inexpressible concern we reflect upon imputation of ingratitude to his lordship, or of
the distressed situation of some of our unhappy injustice to his character. His lordship is pleased
countrymen, who had thought themselves too imto ascribe the unworthy steps he hath taken against mediately within the power of lord Dunmore, and this colony to a necessity arising from the conduct have been induced thereby to remain inactive. We of its inhabitants, whom he hath considered in a lament the advantage he hath taken of their situarebellious state, but whoknow nothing of rebellion
tion, and at present impute their inactivity, in the except the name. Ever zealous in support of
cause of freedom and the constitution, not to any tyranny, he hath broken the bonds of society, and defection or want of zeal, but to their defencetrampled justice under his feet. Had his lordship less state; and whilst we endeavor to afford them been desirous of affecting an accommodation of
succour, and to support their rights, we expect these disputes, he hath had the most ample occasion of exerting both his interest and abilities; but effect their deliverance: yet if any of our people,
they will contribute every thing in their power to that he never had in view any such salutary end, in violation of their faith plighted to this colony, most evideatly appears from the whole tenor of
and the duty they owe to society, shall be found his conduct. The supposed design of the Canada
in arms, or continue to give assistance to our ene. bill having been to draw down upon us a merciless
mies, we shall think ourselves justified, by the and savage enemy, the present manæuvres amongst necessity we are under, in executing upon them the the Roman Catholics in Ireland, and the schemes
law of retaliation. concerted with Doctor Connelly, and other vile instruments of tyranny, which have appeared by
Impressed with a jirst and ardent zeal for the the examination of the said Connelly, justify the welfare and happiness of our countrymen, we trust supposition, and most fully evince his lordship's they will, on their part, exert themselves in de inimical and cruel disposition towards us, and can
fence of our common cause, and that we shall al! be:t determine whether we have been wrong in acquit ourselves like freemen, being compelled by preparing to resist, even by arms, that system of a disagreeable, but absol·lte necessity, of repelling tyranny adopted by the ministry and parliament of
force by force, to maintain our just rights and Great Britain, of which he is become the rigid privileges; and we appeal to God, who is the exesitioner in this colony. The many depreda. Sovereign Disposer of all events, for the justice tions committed also upon the inhabitants of this of our cause, trusting to his unerring wisdom ta colony, by the tenders and other armed vessels direct our councils, and give success to our arms. employed by his lordship for such purposes; the Whereas lord Dunmore, by his proclamation, pilfering anel plundering the property of the peo. dated on board the ship William, off Norfolk, the ple, and the actual seduction and seizure of their 7th day of November, 1775, hath offered freedom slaves, were truly alarming in their effects, and to such able bodied slaves as are willing to join called aloud for justice and resistance. The per. him, and take up arms against the good people of sons of many of our peaceable brethren have been 'this colony, giving thereby encouragement 10 *
general insurrection, which may induce a necessity this country, wherever born, ought to be exempted
One of id. Dunmore's tenders went to a place
called Mulberry-island, in Warwick county, and the end that all such, who have taken this unlaw.
bouse, with their faces blacked like negroes, whose ful and wicked step, may return in safety to their
companions they are, and robbed the house of :)! duty, and escape the punishment due to their crimes, we hereby promise pardon to them, they buckle. The inhuman wretches even took the bed
the furniture, four negroes, a watch, and stock. surrendering themselves to colonel William Wood.
on which lay two sick infants. ford, or any other commander of our troops, and not appearing in arms after the publication hereof. A copy of the oath ertorted from the people of Nor. And we do further earnestly recommend it to all folk and Princess Anne, by lord Dunmore. humane and benevolent persons in this colony, to "We the inhabitants of being fully sensible explain and make known this our offer of mercy to of the errors and guilt into which this colony hatb those unfortunate people.
been misled, under color of seeking redress of And whereas, notwithstanding the favorable grievances, and that a set of factious men styling and kind dispositions shewn by the convention and themselves committees, conventions, and con: the natives of this colony, and the extraordinary gresses, have violently, and under various preand unexampled indulgence by them held out to tences, usurped the legislative and executive pow. the natives of Great Britain, residing in this colony, ers of government, and are thereby endeavoring (the Scotch who gave themselves this title in their to overturn our most happy constitution, and have petition) many of these have lately become strict incurred the guilt of actual rebellion against our adherents to the lord Dunmore and the most active most gracious sovereign: We have therefore taken promoters of all his criel and arbitrary persecu- an oath abjuring their authority, and solemnly tions of the good people of this colony, not only promising, in the presence of Almighty God, to by violating the continental association, to which bear faith and true allegiance to his sacred ma. they had solemnly subscribe), in many the most jesty George the third; and that we will, to the flagrant instances; not merely by giving intelligence utmost of our power and ability, support, main. to our enemies and furnishing them with provisions, tain, and defend his crown and dignity, against all but by propagating, as well in Great Britain as in traitorous attempts and conspiracies whatsoever. this colony, many of the most mischievous false. And whereas armed bodies of men are collected boods, to the great prejudice and dishonor of this in various parts of this colony, without any legal country: And moreover, many of these natives of authority, we wish them to be informed, that hou”. Great Britain, instead of giving their assistance in ever unwilling we should be to slied the blood of suppressing insurrections, have contrary to all faith, our countrymen, we must, in discharge of o'r duty solemnly plighted in their petition, excited our to God and the king, and in support of the conslaves to rebellion, and some of them have daringly stitution and laws of our couniry, oppose their led those slaves in arms against our inhabitants; the marching into this couniy, where their coming committee having these things in fall proof, and can answer no gooilend, bur, one the contrary, must considering their alarming and dangerous tendency, expose us to the ravages and liorrors of a civil war; do give it as their opinion, and it is accordingly and, for that purpose, we are determined to like resolved, that the former resolution in their favor advantage of our happy situation, and will defend ought from henceforth to be totally abrogated and the passes into our county, and neighborhood, to rescinded; that none of the freemen, inhabitants of the last drop of our blood.”
contempt; and at length, open war of the most
atrocious, cruel and sanguinary kind, has been comBy the great and general court of the colony of
menced against them. To this an open, manly Massachusetts Bay:
and successful resistance has hitherto been made; A PROCLAMATION.
tbirteen colonies are now firmly united in the conThe frailty of human nature, the wants of individuct of this most just and necessary war, under the duals, and the numerous dangers which surround wise councils of their congress. them, through the course of life, have, in all ages, and in every country, impelled them to form socie. It is the will of Providence for wise, righteous, ties and establish governments.
and gracious ends, that this colony should have
been singled out, by the enemies of America, as the As the happiness of the people is the sole end first object, both of their envy and their revenge: of government, so the consent of the people is the and after having been made the subject of several only foundation of it, in reason, morality, and the merciless and vindictive statutes, one of which was natural fitness of tbings. And therefore every intended to subvert our constitution by charter, is act of government, every exercise of sovereignty, nade the seat of war: against, or without, the consent of the people, is
No effectual resistance to the system of tyranny injustice, usurpation, and tyranny.
prepared for us, could be made without either It is a maxim that in every government, there instant recourse to arms, or a temporary suspen. must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, sion of the ordinary powers of government, and absolute, and uncontrolable power; but this power tribunals of justice To the last of which evils, in resides always in the body of the people; and it hopes of a speedy reconciliation with Great Bri. never was, or can be delegated to one man, or a/tain, upon equitable terms, the congress advised us few; the great Creator having never given to men to submit:- And mankind has seen a phenomenon, a right to vest others with authority over them, without example in the political world, a large and unlimited either in duration or degree.
populous colony, subsisting in great decency and
order, for more than a year, under such a suspension When kings, ministers, governors, or legislators,
of government. therefore, instead of exercising the powers entrust. ed with them, according to the principles, forms But as our enemies have proceeded to such barand proportions stated by the constitution, and barous extremities, commencing hostilities upor established by the original compact, prostitute the good people of this colony, and with unpre. those powers to the purposes of oppression-to cedented malice exerting their power to spread subvert, instead of supporting a free constitution; the calamities of fire, sword and famine through -to destroy, instead of preserving the lives, liber. the land, and no reasonable prospect remains of a ties and properties of the people;- they are no speedy reconciliation with Great Britain, tbe con. longer to be deemed magistrates vested with a gress have resolved: sacred character, but become public enemies, and “That no obedience being due to the act of par. ought to be resisted.
liament for altering the charter of the colony of
Massachusetts-Bay, nor to a governor or lieutenantThe administration of Great Britain, despising
governor, who will not observe the directions of, equally the justice, humanity and magnanimity of
but endeavor to subvert that charter, the gover. their ancestors; and the rights, liberties and
nor and lieutenant-governor of that colony are to courage of AMERICANS, lave, for a course of
be considered as absen., and their offices vacant years, labored to establish a sovereignty in Ame. rica,' not founded in the consent of the people, bui
And .s there is no council there, and inconvenien.
cies arising from the suspension of the powers of in the mere will of persons, a thousand leagues from us, whom we know not, and have endeavored overninent are intolerable, especially al a time to establish this sovereignty over us, against our
when general Gage hath actually levied war, and
is carrying on hostilities against bis mujesty's consent, in all cases whatsoever.
peaceable and loyal subjects of that coiony: that, The colonies, during this period, have recurred..) order to conform as near as may be to the spirit to every peaceable resource in a free constitution, and substance of the charter, it be recommended by petitions and remonstrances, to obtain justice in the provincial convention to write letters to the which has been not only denied to them, but they habitants of the several places which are entitled have been treated with unexampled indignity and to representation in assembly, requesting them to