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Clinton’s Negro Proclamation

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

June 30.—That wretched tool of a brutish tyrant, Sir Harry Clinton, in a proclamation, dated this day, has declared, “That all Negroes taken in arms, or upon any military duty, shall be purchased, and the money paid to the captors.” He likewise invites all Negroes to desert the States, and “take refuge with his army;” meaning; no doubt, (like the noted Negro thief, Lord Dunmore,) to put such refugees in his pocket. However, I am not much concerned, nor is the cause of freedom much interested, how Sir Henry and his black and white refugees, settle their accounts; as they are all villains, it matters little which may prove in the end the greatest. But justice, honor, and freedom, are concerned for all men, of whatever nation or kindred, who are in the service of the United States, and fight under the banners of freedom; therefore I have long expected some notice from authority, would have been taken of that insulting and villanous proclamation. Justice demands retaliation for every man in the service of these States who may be injured by the ruffian tyrant or any of his slaves; and his slave Sir Harry ought to be told what retaliation he is to expect from the insulted majesty of our nation in this instance.1


1 An “American Soldier,” in the New York Packet, November 18.