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Lord Rawdon’s Proclamation

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

May 21.—This day, the redoubtable Rawdon1 and his not to be trusted squire Balfour,2 now in very uncomfortable quarters at Monk’s Corner, have issued a characteristic proclamation, in which they say:—”Although attention to the general security of the province has obliged his Majesty’s troops, for the present, to relinquish some of the upper parts of it, we trust that it is unnecessary for us to exhort the loyal inhabitants of those districts to stand firm in their duty and principles; or to caution them against the insidious artifices of an enemy, who must shortly abandon to their fate those unfortunate people whom they have deluded into revolt.

“But being well informed that many persons sincerely attached to his Majesty’s cause, have, notwithstanding, been forced to join the enemy, as the only means of preserving themselves and their families from the savage cruelty of the rebel militia, until escape should be practicable, we desire all such to be confident, that they run no risk of suffering from us, through indiscriminate vengeance; reminding them that the British government never extends its hands to blood, without the most convincing proofs of intentional guilt.

“And we advise all persons in the above predicament (as likewise those who, from the oppressions of the enemy, have been obliged to quit their possessions) to take the earliest opportunity of coming in with their arms, to any post or detachment of the royal army. We give them assurance of every support, and of every endeavor on our part to mitigate their present sufferings; further declaring to them, that we shall feel ourselves no less bound to reward the fidelity of those who have remained unshaken in their allegiance, than to inflict the punishment due to reiterated perfidy. Nor should we give them this invitation, were we not certain that in conjunction with the army, (daily expecting powerful reinforcements,) their exertions will very shortly reinstate them in the full and peaceable possession of that property, which they will thus have only yielded for a time, to receive again with confirmed security.”3


1 See note at April 25, 1781 (Volume II, Chapter IX)
2 Nisbet Balfour, lieutenant-colonel and commandant of Charleston, S. C.
3 Pennsylvania Packet, July 12.