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The Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775

On April 30, 1819, the Raleigh N.C Register published the following document that was adopted by the Committee of Mecklenburg County, NC on May 20, 1775, the day after the receipt of the news of the battle of Lexington. North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England!

1. RESOLVED, That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted, or in any way, form, or manner, countenanced the unchartered and dangerous invasion of our rights, as claimed by Great Britain, is an enemy to this County'to America and to the inherent and inalienable rights of man.

2. Resolved, That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County, do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British Crown, and abjure all political connection, contract, or association, with that Nation, who have wantonly trampled on our rights and liberties and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.

3. Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people, are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and self-governing Association, under the control of no power other than that of our God and the General Government of the Congress; to the maintenance of which independence, we solemnly pledge to each other, our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor.

4. Resolved, That as we now acknowledge the existence and control of no law or legal officer, civil or military, within this County, we do hereby ordain and adopt, as a rule of life, all, each and every of our former laws where, nevertheless, the Crown of Great Britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities, or authority therein.

5. Resolved, That it is also further decreed, that all, each and every military officer in this County, is hereby reinstated to his former command and authority, he acting conformably to these regulations, and that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth be a civil officer, viz. a Justice of the Peace, in the character of a "Committee-man", to issue process, hear and determine all matters of controversy, according to said adopted laws, and to preserve peace, and union, and harmony, in said County, and to use every exertion to spread the love of country and fire of freedom throughout America, until a more general and organized government be established in this province.

SIGNERS

Abraham Alexander, Chairman

John McNitt Alexander, Secretary

Ephraim Brevard

Charles Alexander

Hezekiah J. Balch

Zaccheus Wilson

John Phifer

Waightstill Avery

James Harris

Benjamin Patton

William Kennon

Matthew McClure

John Foard

Neill Morrison

Richard Barry

Robert Irwin

Henry Downs

John Flennikin

Ezra Alexander

David Reese

William Graham

John Davidson

John Qureary

Richard Harris

Hezekiah Alexander

Thomas Polk

Adam Alexander


1. See our "First In Freedom" Page

2. Document adapted from: American Historical Documents, 1000-1904 The Harvard Classics. 1909-14.

3. It is also on the web at: http://www.bartleby.com/43/15.html

4. Some scholars have suggested that Thomas Jefferson used this document when writing his draft of the US Constitution.