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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Proclamation by Alexander Martin concerning a pardon for loyalists
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
December 25, 1781
Volume 17, Pages 1049-1050

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of North Carolina, 25 Dec., '81.

By the Hon'ble Alexander Martin, Esquire, Speaker of the Senate, Captain General and Commander in Chief, for the Time being, in and over the said State.

Whereas, Divers citizens of this State have been deluded by the wicked artifices of our enemies to revolt, and withdraw themselves from the faith and allegiance which, before God they solemnly plighted to owe their Country, and traitorously to take up arms against the same, being convinced that they have been buoyed up with false hopes supported by deceit, now find themselves at last deserted by our feeble and despairing enemies—left unprotected to the vengeance of the State, ready to inflict those punishments due to their crimes.

In tender compassions to the feelings of humanity to spare such who are truly penitent, and to stay the hand of the Executioner in the unnecessary effusion of the blood of Citizens who may be reclaimed, I have thought fit to issue this my Proclamation of pardon to such of the above persons who have surrendered, or who shall surrender themselves to the clemency of the State before the tenth day of March next; on this express condition, that they immediately enlist in the Continental Battalions thereof, and there render a personal service for twelve months after the time of their rendezvous at headquarters; who after having faithfully performed the same for said term, shall be deemed as having expiated their offence, and be entitled and restored to the privileges of a Citizen.

All Officers, leading men, and persons of this class, guilty of murder, robbery, and house burning, to be precluded from the above, notwithstanding.

And I do hereby require the Honorable the Judges of the Superior Courts of Law, Oyer and Terminer, and General Gaol Delivery, and all Officers, Civil and Military, within this State to take notice of this Proclamation of pardon, with the exceptions, and govern themselves accordingly.

Given under my hand and Seal at Arms, at Halifax, the twentyfifth

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day of December, anno dom. 1781, and in the sixth year of the Independence of the said State.

By his Honor's Command,
JO. HAWKINS, Pro. Sec'y.
God Save the State.