Allegedly written on May 20, 1775, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence declared that the people of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina were “free and independent people” from Great Britain. In 1819, the Raleigh Register printed a supposed reproduction of the documented recited by a descendent of one of the signers because the “original” had been destroyed by fire nineteen years prior. After years of debate, the document was eventually revealed as a fake.
I. Resolved: That whosoever directly or indirectly abets, or in any way, form, or manner countenances 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.
II. 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 maintainance of which Independence we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co-operation, our Lives, our Fortunes, and our most Sacred Honor.
III. Resolved: That as we 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 one of our former laws, wherein, nevertheless, the Crown of Great Britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, or authorities therein.
IV. Resolved: That all, each, and every Military Officer in this country is hereby reinstated in his former command and authority, he acting to their 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, 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.
ABRAHAM ALEXANDER, Chairman.
JOHN MCKNITT ALEXANDER, Secretary.
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