Howe's Proclamation

Excerpted from Major Andre's Journal

Sir William Howe, regretting the calamities to which many of His Majesty's faithful subjects are still exposed by the continuance of the rebellion, and no less desirous of protecting the innocent, than determined to pursue with the rigors of war all those whom His Majesty's forces, in the course of their progress, may find in arms against the King, doth hereby assure the peaceable inhabitants of the Province of Delaware, and the counties of Maryland on the Eastern Shore of the Cheaspeak-Bay, that in order to remove any groundless apprehension which may have been raised of their suffering by depredation of the army under his command, he has issued the strictest orders to the troops for the preservation of regularity and good discipline, and has signified that the most exemplary punishment shall be inflicted upon those who shall dare to plunder the property, or molest the persons of any of His Majesty' well-disposed subjects.

Security and protection are likewise extended to all persons, inhabitants of the Province and Counties aforesaid, who, not guilty of having assumed legislative or judicial authority, may have acted illegally in subordinate station, and, conscious of their misconduct, been induced to leave their dwelling provided such persons do forthwith return and remain peaceable at their usual places of abode.

Considering moreover that many officers and private men, now actually in arms against His Majesty, may be willing to relinquish the part they have taken in this Rebellion, and, return to their due allegiance: SIR WILLIAM HOWE doth therefore promise a free and general pardon to all such officers and private men, as shall voluntarily come and surrender themselves to any detachment of His Majesty's forces, before the day on which it shall be notified that the said indulgence is to be discontinued.

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Philadelphia Campaign 1777