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Other Facts/Records
Howe Proclamation

By Richard Viscount HOWE of the Kingdom of Ireland & William HOWE Esqr. General of his Majesty’s Forces in America, the King’s Commissioners for restoring Peace to his Majesty’s Subjects in North America.


Whereas by our Declarations of the 14th of July & 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 & Georgia, all Persons speedily returning to their Allegiance were promised a free & general Pardon, and were invited to accept not only the blessings of Peace but a Secure Enjoyment of their Liberty & Properties upon the true Principles of the Constitution.

And whereas nothwithstanding the said Declarations & 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 profered Clemency, do still continue their Opposition to the Establishment of Legal Government & Peace, and divers other ill disposed Persons pursuing their own Ambitious purposes in the Exercise of a lawless Influence of Power, are using fresh Endeavors by various Arts & Misrepresentations to Reconciliation, and to prolong the unnatural War between Great Britain & her Colonies.

Now in order to the more effectual Accomplishment of her Majesty’s most gracious Intentions, and the speedy restoration of the Publick Tranquility, and duely considering the Expediency of limitting the Time within which such Pardons as aforesaid shall be Granted, and of specifying the Terms upon which only the same shall & 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 & Quiet manner;

And We also Charge & 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 & distinguished, or who under the Color of any Authority from any such Congress, Committee, Convention or other Association take upon them to issue or execute any Orders for levying Money, Raising Troops, fitting out Armed Ships or Vessels, Imprisoning or otherwise molesting his Majesty’s Subjects, to desist & cease from all such Treasonable Actions & Doings, and to relinquish all such usurped Power & 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 benefitt 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 & moderate Authority of the Crown & Parliament of Great Britain.

AND WE do hereby Declare & make known to all Men that every Person who within Sixty Days from the Day of the Date hereof shall appear before the Governor or Lieut. Governor or Commander in Chief in any of his Majesty’s Colonies or Provinces afsd. 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 Party 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 Fleets or any other Officer commanding any of his Majesty’s Ships of Warr or any armed Vessel in his Majesty’s Service within any of the Ports, Rivers, Creeks or upon the Coasts of America, and shall claim the benefitt of his Proclamation and at the same time testifye 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 peaceable Obedience to his Majesty and will not take up arms, nor encourage Others to take up Arms in Opposition to this Authority”

shall & may obtain a full & free Pardon of all Treasons and Misprisions of Treasons by him heretofore Committed or done, and of all Forfeitures, Attainder, & Penalties for the same, and upon producing to us or either of us a Certificate of such his Appearance & Declaration, shall & may have & receive such Pardon made & passed to him in due form.

Given at New York the Thirtieth Day of November 1776.


By Command of their Excellencies
     Henry STRACHEY

Great Britian, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 137, folio 774.

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