Lord Dunmore (1732–1809), or John Murray, was the royal governor of Virginia best remembered for offering freedom to slaves who joined British forces during the American Revolution. After serving in Parliament and as governor of New York, Dunmore became the British royal governor of Virginia in 1771. In 1773, he officially dissolved the Virginia House of Burgesses in response to its efforts to create a Committee of Correspondence; however, the body continued to meet. In 1774, he waged Lord Dunmore’s War against the Shawnees in the Ohio Valley. In 1775, he issued his famous proclamation offering freedom to slaves who sided with Great Britain. He left the colonies in 1776 after failing to secure Virginia for the Crown and later served again in Parliament and as governor of the Bahamas.

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