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Proclamation by Alexander Martin concerning the banishment of loyalists
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
July 28, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 978-979

(On the back of this letter is written the following proclamation.)

A Proclamation, By His Excellency.

Whereas, the hon. the General Assembly passed an act of Pardon and oblivion at their last session, wherein it is enacted, That tha said act shall not extend to pardon or discharge, or give any benefit whatever to such persons (being citizens of this State) who have taken commissions or have been denominated officers, and acted as such, under the K. of G. Britain, or to such as are named in any of the laws commonly called confiscation-laws or such who have attached themselves to the British and continued without the limits of this State, and not returned within twelve months previous to the passing of this act, or to P. Mallet, &c., or to any person or persons guilty of deliberate and wilful murder, robbery, rape and house-burning: but that they be precluded from the said act of pardon and oblivion notwithstanding.” In order to carry the said act into effect, I have thought proper by and with the advice of the council of State, to issue this my proclamation, requiring and commanding all officers civil and military in this State, to use their endeavours to apprehend such persons of the above description, and bring them to justice (those who have been acquitted in the conrts of law or been pardoned excepted) and all the good citizens of this State are hereby required to be aiding and assisting in this service, as they will answer the coutrary at their peril. And whereas divers ill-disposed persons, late inhabitants of this State, or some one of the United States, who withdrew from the same, and attached themselves to the K. of G. Britain, in the late war, or were expelled for being obnoxious to the laws; since the suspension of hostilities between Britain and America, are daily introducing themselves into this State without any authority, under color of carrying on trade, and various other pretences, to the great uneasiness and disturbance of

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the good and virtuous citizens thereof: (a lie!) That the public peace be supported now happily restored, and general harmony diffused; I do further order and command all such persons who have arrived into this State since the first day of May last, or who shall arrive without first having obtained leave from the executive, immediately to depart the same; and I do strictly prohibit the return of all and every the said persons, until the Legislature shall please to determine on this subject, on the pains and penalties that shall ensue; and that this proclamation be not evaded, but strictly complied with, I hereby require all officers; & the good citizens of the State as aforesaid, to enforce the due observance of & obedience thereto.


28th July, ’83.
A. MARTIN.