union-jack                            John Murray (1732-1809)

john murrayJohn Murray, known as Lord Dunmore, was born in Scotland and inherited his father’s earldom at the age of 24. Appointed Royal Governor of Virginia in 1771, he assumed his new role in the midst of growing unrest over taxation, and would soon reveal a combative nature that did little to dispel mounting tensions. In response to isolated Indian attacks along Virginia’s western frontier, he mounted a series of campaigns whose purpose some interpreted as a deliberate distraction from the larger issue of popular resistance to British authority. At the outbreak of the Revolution, seeking to preempt the possibility of a slave uprising, he issued a proclamation offering freedom to all slaves who joined the Loyalist cause. Despite initial success, the resulting “Ethiopian Regiment” was defeated at Great Bridge and Dunmore was forced to flee the colony.

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