Facimile of the Original Document: Lord Dunmore's Proclamation

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John Murray, better known as Lord Dunmore, was the royal governor of Virginia when it was still an English colony. He was ill-equipped to fight the Revolutionary War and his troops were vastly outnumbered. His solution was to offer emancipation to enslaved people if they would escape and enlist in the British Army. This early emancipation proclamation was issued on November 7, 1775 and is pictured on my website.

You will probably notice some similarities to the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln on September 23, 1862, taking effect 100 days later on January 1, 1863!  (More about the significance of the 100 days in a later post)

An estimated 800 to 2000 slaves eventually formed a military unit that was referred to as, "Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment." Approximately 300 recently emancipated people left with Dunmore when he abandoned the Virginia Colony in 1776. Although this might not seem like much of a success, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 enslaved people escaped during the Revolutionary War. Typically, the revolutionary armies in southern states spent more time dealing with escaped slaves than fighting the British!

A research grant to study slavery and the Underground Railroad in Kentucky inspired, "A Promise Moon." I alluded to, or drew inspiration from my findings as I wrote my latest novel which is set during the Civil War. RESEARCH FINDINGS

Return to "A Promise Moon."


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