Philipsburg Proclamation

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Philipsburg Proclamation
Created June 30, 1779
Author(s) General Sir Henry Clinton
Purpose To encourage slaves to run away and enlist in the British Army

The Philipsburg Proclamation is a historical document issued by British Army General Sir Henry Clinton on June 30, 1779,[1][2] from his temporary headquarters at the Philipsburg Manor House in Westchester County, New York.

The proclamation extended the scope of Dunmore's Proclamation, which was issued four years earlier. Dunmore's Proclamation, issued by Virginia's last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, granted freedom to slaves in Virginia, provided that they were willing to serve the royal forces. The new document proclaimed all slaves in the newly established United States belonging to American patriots free, regardless of their willingness to fight for the crown.[3] This was a move of desperation on the part of the British, who realized that the war was not going in their favor.[4] Furthermore, the proclamation promised protection, freedom and land to any slaves who left their master.[5]

The plan was in a way too successful.[6] So many slaves escaped (over 5,000 from Georgia alone), that Clinton ordered many to return to their masters.[7][8] Following the war, about 3,000 former slaves were relocated to Nova Scotia.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carnahan, Burrus M. (2007). Act of Justice: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War. University Press of Kentucky. p. 18. ISBN 0-8131-2463-8. 
  2. ^ "REVOLUTIONARY WAR3/Sir Henry Clinton's Philipsburg Proclamation, June 30, 1779.jpg". Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  3. ^ "The Philipsburg Proclamation". Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  4. ^ "Who were the Black Loyalists?". Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  5. ^ Hilvers, Julie. "Freedom Bound: Black Loyalists". Retrieved 2007-10-07. [dead link]
  6. ^ Poplack, Shana (2001). African American English in the Diaspora. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-631-21266-3. 
  7. ^ Davis, David Brion (2006). Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World. Oxford University Press. p. 150. ISBN 0-19-514073-7. 
  8. ^ Brown, Christopher Leslie (2006). Arming Slaves: From Classical Times to the Modern Age. Yale University Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-300-10900-8. 
  9. ^ Brooks, Joanna (2002). Face Zion Forward: First Writers of the Black Atlantic, 1785–1798. UPNE. p. 6. ISBN 1-55553-540-2.