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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Resolutions by inhabitants of Mecklenburg County [The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence]
No Author
May 20, 1775
Volume 09, Pages 1263-1265

[Reprinted from the Revised Statutes of North Carolina.]
The Mecklenburg Declaration of 20th May, 1775.
Col. Thomas Polk
Ephraim Brevard
John McKnitt Alexander
Hezekiah Alexander
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Hezekiah J. Balch
John Phifer
James Harris
William Kennon
John Ford
Richard Barry
Henry Downs
Ezra Alexander
William Graham
John Quary
Abraham Alexander
Adam Alexander
Charles Alexander
Zacheus Wilson, Sen.
Waightstil Avery
Benjamin Patton
Mathew McClure
Neil Morrison
Robert Irwin
John Flenniken
David Reese
Richard Harris, Sen.

Abraham Alexander was appointed Chairman, and John McKnitt Alexander, Clerk. The following resolutions were offered, viz:

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 country 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 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 co-operation 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—wherein nevertheless the Crown of Great Britain never can be considered as holding rights privileges immunities or authority therein.

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5th, Resolved, That it is further decreed that all, each and every Military Officer in this Country is hereby reinstated in 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, 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.

After discussing the foregoing resolves and arranging by-laws and regulations for the government of a Standing Committee of public safety who were selected from these delegates the whole proceedings were unanimously adopted and signed. A Select Committee was then appointed to draw a more full and definite statement of grievances and a more formal declaration of independence. The delegation then adjourned about 2 o'clock a. m. May 20th.

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: Many scholars believe this document to be spurious. For a fuller discussion of the so-called "Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence," see that item's entry in William S. Powell's "Encyclopedia of North Carolina" (2006).