General History/lord dunmore
Who was lord dunmore, what was his proclamation and why was this profoundly important to the course of the war. What ultimately became the policy of the leaders of the Revolution to the use of black troops and why was this policy adopted. What was the outcome of the participation of black soldiers in the revolution in the instancesof both the british and the americans.
According to Wikipedia (article title: John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore) he was to governor of Virginia at the beginning of the War of Independence. His proclamation offered freedom to any runaway slave who would fight for Britain. He organized these men into "the Ethiopian Regiment." Dunmore and the Ethiopian Regiment fought a few minor battles in the early months of the war but were then compelled to abandon the colony. Most of the Ethiopian Regiment then died of small pox.
By the end of the war, 100,000 escaped slaves sought refuge with the British and 20,000 served with the army, mostly in non-combatant roles such as digging trenches and performing other labor.
Slaves were important to the American economy, and Dunmore's proclamation sought to weaken that economy by encouraging slaves to runaway. The Americans saw this as a threat. They responded to Dunmore's evacuation by spreading rumors that his runaway slaves had been resold into slavery. It wasn't true, but the Americans hoped to discourage their slaves from running away and joining the British. Dunmore's proclamation must therefore have been a serious threat to the Americans.
Hope this helps, C.M.