A Proclamation by the King for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition, August 23, 1775
By the spring of 1775, peaceful protest gave way to armed conflict at Lexington and Concord. Ignoring one last, futile plea for peace in a message known as the Olive Branch Petition, the King proclaimed in this document that the colonies stood in open rebellion to his authority and were subject to severe penalty, as was any British subject who failed to report the knowledge of rebellion or conspiracy. This document literally transformed loyal subjects into traitorous rebels.
National Archives, Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention