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MECKLENBURG DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
MAY 20, 1775
- That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted or in any way, form or manner countenanced to unchartered & dangerous invasion of our rights as claimed by G. Britain is an enemy to this County - to America & to the inherent & inaliable rights of man.
- We the Citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby desolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country & hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown & abjure all political connection, contract or association with that nation who have wantonly trampled on our rights & liberties & inhumanely shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.
- We do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people - are & of right ought to be a sovereign & self-governing association, under the controul of no power other than that of our God & the general government of the congress, to the maintainence of which independence civil & religious we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes & our most sacred honor.
- As we now acknowledge the existence & controul of no law or legal officers, civil or military, within this County, we do hereby ordain & adopt as a rule of life, all, each & every of our former laws - wherein nevertheless the crown of great britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities, or authority therein.
- It is also further decreed that all, each & every military officer in this County is hereby reinstated in his former command & 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 & determine all matters of controversy according to sd. adopted laws - to preserve peace, union & harmony in sd. County & to use every exertion to spread the love of country & fire of freedom throughout America until a more general & organized government be established in this province. A selection from the members present shall constitute a Committee of public safety for sd. County.
- That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by express to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, to be laid before that body.
Hezekiah J. Balch
John McKnitt Alexander
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence has been printed in a number of different styles over the years; inscribed on a plaque placed on the wall of the Mecklenburg County Court House by the County Commissioners in 1937, and otherwise reproduced. The most unique of these reproductions was wrought by Harry Orr of Charlotte who secured a log from the McIntyre Farm House and built a desk top upon which he carved the entire text of the Declaration, inlaying each letter. The finished product was carefully polished and is an impressive reminder of the faith Mecklenburg citizens have in this important document. It may be seen in the Public Library of Charlotte.
Blythe, LeGette and Brockmann, Charles Raven. The Hornets' Nest: The Story of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Charlotte, N.C.: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 1961.