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British Evacuate Philadelphia

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

June 19.—The British arms having proved ineffectual to subdue America, the arts of negotiation are now to be tried. What confidence we ought to place in the commissioners, the following fact will show:—On the 30th of November, 1776, Lord Howe and General Howe, commissioners under the British tyrant, published a proclamation, offering pardon to every one, without exception, who would comply with its terms. In a letter of the same date, and inclosing the same proclamation to Lord George Germaine, after apologizing for so apparently lenient a measure, they say “exceptions from his Majesty’s pardon, as well as any prolongation of the time within which a pardon may be obtained, will be a matter of future consideration, according to the circumstances that may arise.” If any infidel Tory discredits this recent proof of British perfidy and baseness, by looking into the Parliamentary Register, number forty-eight, and number six of the fourth session of the present Parliament, he will find the letter, among others, laid before the House of Lords.

The British army, early yesterday morning, completed their evacuation of Philadelphia, having before transported their stores and most of their artillery into Jersey, where they had thrown up some works, and several of their regiments were encamped. They manned the lines the preceding night, and retreating over the commons, crossed at Gloucester Point.1 It is supposed they will endeavor to go to New York. A party of the American light horse pursued them very close, and took a great number of prisoners, some of whom were refugees. Soon after the evacuation, the Honorable Major-General Arnold took possession of Philadelphia, with Colonel Jackson’s Massachusetts regiment.2


1 Gloucester Point is in New Jersey, on the Delaware, about three miles below Camden.
2 Pennsylvania Evening Post, June 20.