Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The First Declaration of Independence?

20 May 1775

Resolved, 1st. 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 unalienable rights of man.
Resolved, 2d. That we, the citizens of Mecklenburg county, do hereby dissolve the political bonds which have connected us with 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.
Resolved, 3d. 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.
Resolved, 4th. That as we acknowledge the existence and control of no law, nor legal office, 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.
Resolved, 5th. That it is further decreed, that all, each, and every military officer in this county is hereby retained 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 general organized government be established in this province.

Abraham Alexander, Chairman
John McKnitt Alexander, Secretary
Ephraim Brevard, Clerk
Adam Alexander, Charles Alexander, Ezra Alexander, Hezekiah Alexander, Waightstill Avery, Hezekiah J. Balch, Richard Barry, John Davidson, Henry Downs, John Flennekin, John Foard, William Graham, James Harris, Richard Harris, Robert Irwin, William Kennon, Matthew McClure, Neil Morrison, Benjamin Patton, John Phifer, Thomas Polk, John Queary, David Reese, Zaccheus Wilson