How Did Virginia’s Governor Lord Dunmore Intensify The Crisis In The Colonies In 1775?
Virginia’s Governor John Murray, also known as Lord Dunmore signed in a historical document on the 7th of November 1775.
Present-day, this historic document is popular as ‘Dunmore’s Proclamation’.
So, what was in that proclamation? What he declared through this?
Let’s find it out…
Via the proclamation, he declared two very important but controversial things.
The first was the declaration of Martial law in Virginia and the second was the declaration of freedom for the Black Slaves of the American revolutionaries.
He declared freedom for those Slaves who were able and willing to bear arms for the British crown against colonists (Revolutionaries).
Dunmore hoped that the proclamation would make his forces much stronger and would create a fear among the colonists of a slave rebellion.
And these two things would make colonists abandon the revolution.
However, his assumptions proved wrong; though many Black Slaves joined the British forces and became black loyalists.
Colonists’ went further angrier on the British Crown due to these kinds of declaration.
The response was given on December 14th, 1775, at the Virginia Convention.
Here, Convention leaders responded with their proclamation that the Slaves who had joined the British army would have to come back to their masters within 10 days.
Those who would return in 10 days would be pardoned. But those slaves, who would not return back, are to be hanged without any benefit of clergy.
How Many Slaves Became Free Due To This Proclamation?
Though, Dunmore’s Proclamation had only practical and militaristic reasons; but it caused a huge change in Black Slaves’ lives.
During the time of the revolution, 80,000 to 1,00000 slaves ran away from their masters and joined British forces.
After the revolution these black people became independent and most of them migrated to British North America, Canada.
You can learn here why they had to migrate to British North America.