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Proclamation of 1754

Text taken from The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, Vol. VII, ed. William Waller Hening (1820), 661-2.

Proclamation of 1754

By the Honourable Robert Dinwiddie, Esq'r his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of this Dominion.

A PROCLAMATION for encouraging men to enlist in his Majesty’s service for the defence and security of this colony.

WHEREAS it is determined that a Fort be immediately built on the River Ohio, at the Fork of Monogahela, to oppose any further encouragements, or hostile attempts of the French and the Indians in their interest, and for the security and protection of his majesty’s subjects in his colony; and as it is absolutely necessary that a sufficient force should be raised to erect and support the same; for an encouragement to all who shall voluntarily enter into the said service, I do hereby notify and promise, by and with the advice and consent of his majesty's council of this colony, that over and above their pay, two hundred thousand acres, of his majesty the king of Great Britain’s lands, on the east side of the river Ohio, within this dominion, (one hundred thousand acres whereof to be contiguous to the said fort, and the other hundred thousand acres to be on, or near the river Ohio) shall be laid off and granted to such persons, who by their voluntary engagement and good behaviour in the said service, shall deserve the same. And I further promise, that the said lands shall be divided amongst them, immediately after the performance of the said service in a proportion due to their respective merit, as shall be represented to me by their officers, and held and enjoyed by them without paying any rights and also free from the payment of quit rents, for the term of fifteen years, and I do appoint this proclamation to be read and published, at the court houses, churches and chapels in each county within this colony, and that the sheriffs take care the same be done accordingly.

Given at the Council Chamber in Williamsburgh, on the 19th day of February in the XXVIIth year of his Majesty's Reign, Annoque Domini 1754.