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Proclamation of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1776

Pledging loyalty to the “United American Colonies,” the signers of this proclamation vowed to defend America against the army and navy of Great Britain. As inhabitants of the colonies joined the cause of liberty, such proclamations reflected their growing sense of shared purpose and destiny.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Proclamation of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1776

Supporting the Revolutionary Army

Two months after the battles of Lexington and Concord ignited the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia to take charge of the war effort. In June 1775 Congress quickly appointed George Washington to lead the Continental Army. Washington left immediately to take command of the troops already assembled in Boston. Congress raised funds for the war by issuing money and pursuing loans from European governments. It also requested that the colonies provide money to support the Continental Army.