Reply To: Declaration of Independence—Enumeration of Charges


“Domestic insurrections” was code for “slave insurrections,” and that charge referred to Governor Lord Dunmore’s proclamation in Virginia calling on slaves of rebel masters to come join the British army. Most people don’t realize that the Declaration of Independence justifies the break with King George partly by reference to his offer of freedom to some of Virginia’s slaves.

For the charge concerning Indians, Pauline Maier in AMERICAN SCRIPTURE calls attention to the use of Indians against patriots in Canada. Maier attempts to explain what each of the charges meant — and finds that some of the charges cannot be explained.