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Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (mĕkˈlənbûrgˌ) [key], resolution alleged to have been proclaimed at Charlotte, N.C., by the citizens of Mecklenburg co. on May 20, 1775. Although North Carolina's seal and flag bear that date, the declaration is widely regarded as a spurious document. It is known, however, that the Mecklenburg citizens adopted (May 31, 1775) strong anti-British resolutions that declared all crown officials, civil and military, suspended from their offices, thus implying independence without actually declaring it. An account of the Mecklenburg Resolves, as they are called, was published in 1819, with embellishments from the national Declaration of Independence. From this grew the tale of the declaration of May 20, which still persists in North Carolina but which has not been supported by documentary evidence.

See studies by W. M. Hoyt (1907, repr. 1972), J. H. Moore (1908), and V. V. McNitt (1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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