Sunday, September 14, 2014


“I______do acknowledge the United States of America to be Free, Independent and Sovereign States, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance  or obedience to George the Third, King of Great Britain; and I renounce, refute and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will to the upmost of my power support, maintain and defend, the said United States, against the said King George the Third, his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of ____”

Those words were sworn to on May 30 1778 at Valley Forge by officers and soldiers in the Continental Army.  The oath was deemed a necessity to ensure that only those loyal to the cause of creating a new country were serving in the army.  Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord some states began forming state militias requiring all able-bodied men, usually beginning at age 16-21, and to drill on a regular basis. 

Earlier the Minute Men had sworn this oath:
“We trust in God that should the state of our affairs require it, we shall be ready to sacrifice our estates and everything we hold dear in life, yea, and life itself, in support of the common cause.”

Most states began requiring their own oaths in 1777.  They required everyone to take an oath of allegiance promising to defend the revolutionary cause with arms. Refusal often met with fines, prison sentences and confiscation of property.  Loyalists fled back to England or into Canada rather than take the oaths and members of pacifist religions struggled to hold onto their property.
Records of those who took the oath survive in many states and some court records show suits brought after the war to regain confiscated property.
Taking the oath of allegiance can be used as proof of a patriot for DAR.

Posted by Diane Price

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