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Proclamation by Lord Howe



By RICHARD Viscount HOWE, of the Kingdom of IRELAND, and WILLIAM HOWE, Esq˙, General of his Majesty' s Forces in AMERICA, the King' s Commissioners for restoring peace to his Majesty' s Colonies and Plantations in NORTH AMERICA, &c˙:


Whereas, by our Declarations of the 14th of July, and 19th of September last, in pursuance of his Majesty' s most gracious intentions towards his subjects in the Colonies or Provinces of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, all persons speedily returning to their just allegiance were promised a free and general pardon, and were invited to accept not only the blessings of peace, but a secure enjoyment of their liberties and properties, upon the true principles of the Constitution: And whereas, notwithstanding the said declarations, and the example of many who have availed themselves of the assurances therein made, several bodies of armed men, in open contempt of his Majesty' s proffered clemency, do still continue their opposition to the establishment of legal government and peace; and divers other ill-disposed persons, pursuing their own ambitious purposes in the exercise of a lawless influence and power, are using fresh endeavours, by various arts and misrepresentations, to alienate the confidence and affection of his Majesty' s subjects; to defeat every plan of reconciliation, and to prolong the unnatural war between


Great Britain and her Colonies: Now, in order to the more effectual accomplishment of his Majesty' s most gracious intentions, and the speedy restoration of the publick tranquillity; and duly considering the expediency of limiting the time within which such pardon as aforesaid shall be granted, and of specifying the terms upon which only the same shall and may be obtained: We do, in his Majesty' s name, and by virtue of the powers committed to us, hereby charge and command all persons whatsoever, who are assembled together in arms against his Majesty' s government, to disband themselves and return to their dwellings, there to remain in a peaceable and quiet manner; and we also charge and command all such other persons as are assembled together under the name of General or Provincial Congresses, Committees, Conventions, or other associations, by whatever name or names known and distinguished, or who, under the colour of any authority from any such Congress, Committee, Convention, and other association, take upon them to issue or execute any orders for levying money, raising troops, fitting out armed ships and vessels, imprisoning, or otherwise molesting his Majesty' s subjects, to desist and cease from all such treasonable actings and doings, and to relinquish all such usurped power and authority, so that peace may be restored, a speedy remission of past offences quiet the apprehensions of the guilty, and all the inhabitants of the said Colonies be enabled to reap the benefit of his Majesty' s paternal goodness in the preservation of their property, the restoration, of their commerce, and the security of their most valuable rights, under the just and moderate authority of the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain: And we do hereby declare, and make known to all men, that every person, who within sixty days from the day of the date hereof, shall appear before the Governour, or Lieutenant-Governour, or Commander-in-Chief, in any of his Majesty' s Colonies or Provinces aforesaid, or before the General or Commanding Officer of his Majesty' s forces in America, or any other officer in his Majesty' s service having the command of any detachment or parties of his Majesty' s forces there, or before the Admiral or Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty' s fleets, or any other officer commanding any of his Majesty' s ships of war, or any armed vessel in his Majesty' s service, within any of the ports, havens, creeks, or upon the coasts of America, and shall claim the benefit of this Proclamation, and at the same time testify his obedience to the laws, by subscribing a declaration in the words following: "I, A˙B˙, do promise and declare, that I will remain in a peaceable obedience to his Majesty, and will not take up arms, nor encourage others to take up arms, in opposition to his authority," shall and may obtain a full and free pardon of all treasons and misprisions of treasons, by him heretofore committed or done, and of all forfeitures, attainders, and penalties for the same; and upon producing to us, or to either of us, a certificate of such his appearance and declaration, shall and may have and receive such pardon made and passed to him in due form.

Given at New-York, this thirtieth day of November, 1776.


By command of their Excellencies:


[It was remarked, as extraordinary, that the oath in this Proclamation says not a word about Parliament, or Legislative authority, which was the cause of the war; but that it requires purely an implicit submission to the King, and to him alone.] — Rem.