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William Kennon

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William Kennon (circa 1735 - ?) was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence. Although most of the signers were Presbyterians, William Kennon was Anglican and not even a citizen of the county. Although born and raised near Petersburg, Virginia, he went to the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University, to finish his formal education.

After his time there, he moved to Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. Why he was in Charlotte on the day the Declaration was supposedly written is a mystery. Perhaps business or friendships brought him to the city on this monumental day. One speculation is that he had heard about the plan for this convention and wanted to learn first-hand how the Mecklenburg citizens would react to this latest news about the British.

Kennon's father, William, Jr., was a member of the Virginia House of Burgess, so his interest in politics may have been a family matter. William, Sr.'s father, Richard, was reportedly the original immigrant to America. The Kennon family acquired large holdings of land in Virginia.

William Kennon was a colonel in the Revolutionary War and was on the Rowan County Safety Committee, where he was elected chairman in April 1774. He also was chairman of the first assembly of the colony held without permission of the British government, a meeting held in New Bern in August, 1774. He signed a resolution protesting patriot's removal to England for trial. Kennon was married and had one son and three daughters.



(1) King, Victor C. Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775. Charlotte, NC, 1956.