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  • The Philipsburg Proclamation is a historical document issued by British Army General Sir Henry Clinton on June 30, 1779, from his temporary headquarters at the Philipsburg Manor House in Westchester County, New York. The proclamation extended the scope of Dunmore's Proclamation, which was issued four years earlier. Dunmore's Proclamation, issued by Virginia's last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, granted freedom to slaves in Virginia, provided that they were willing to serve the royal forces. The new document proclaimed all slaves in the newly established United States belonging to American patriots free, regardless of their willingness to fight for the crown. This was a move of desperation on the part of the British, who realized that the war was not going in their favor. Furthermore, the proclamation promised protection, freedom and land to any slaves who left their master. The plan was in a way too successful. So many slaves escaped, that Clinton ordered many to return to their masters. Following the war, about 3,000 former slaves were relocated to Nova Scotia.