Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

Image of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was a document that was published in 1819 that was allegedly created and signed on May 20, 1775, just one month following the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  The original document was supposedly destroyed in a fire in 1800. Modern scholars do not consider the Mecklenburg Declaration to be legitimate. However, they could have been a part of the Mecklenburg Resolves that were created just eleven days following the supposed signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration on May 31, 1775. 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

Charlotte, North Carolina

May 20, 1775

  1. Resolved, That whoever 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 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 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 country, 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.
  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.