The Second Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress. Even after the battles of Lexington and Concord, most colonists still did not favor independence. At the same time, many were ready to use force, if necessary, to defend their rights against the British.
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“I do require every person capable to bearing arms to resort to His Majesty’s standard, or be looked upon as traitors to His Majesty’s Crown and government, and [be subject to] penalty… such as [loss] or life, confiscation of lands, etc. And I do hereby further declare all indentured servants, slaves, or others [in service to rebels] free that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty’s troops as soon as may be…”
– Proclamation of Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia November 1775