Is the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence truth or myth?
It seems as if there is much debate about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Some believe it to be true, some believe it to be myth.
For those that see the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence as the truth, this is how they think it panned out.
On May 19, 1775, Colonel Thomas Polk, the commander of the county, called a meeting and representatives from each of the militia companies met on the courthouse steps of Charlotte. On that same day, an express rider arrived with the news of the battles of Lexington and Concord. That discussion resulted in the five resolutions that make up the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Essentially, it declared that they had separated themselves from England. A year before the actual Declaration of Independence was signed.
Although not referred to as The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence for many years, the document was read from the courthouse steps May 20th and people came from all over to hear it because what was in that document was binding to all citizens of the county.
It was determined the document needed to be more organized and coherent so a committee was formed to edit and polish the document. Instead of an edited version, it essentially was a complete rewrite of the document and was now formally called the Mecklenburg Resolves. They set up their own government and were prepared to defend themselves.
Early in June, 1775, Captain James Jack presented both documents to the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. When he returned to Mecklenburg County, he said that the representatives from North Carolina had read and approved the documents.
However, The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was forgotten and not heard again for many years.
The Alexandriana Historical Site in Huntersville/Charlotte is a monument to signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775. It was also the home site of John McNitt Alexander, secretary of the committee that drew the Mecklenburg Declaration and the Mecklenburg Resolves before the American Revolution.
Alexandriana Historical Site
9921 Old Statesville Road
Charlotte, NC 28269
Reasons people suspect it is a myth.
No original Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence document has ever been found.
When the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was published in newspapers in 1819 it was noticed that several phrases seemed to be very similar to the actual Declaration of Independence of 1776. Did Thomas Jefferson copy from the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence? Or was the it actually written AFTER Declaration of Independence of 1776?
Whether Truth or Myth, North Carolina seems to believe it to be truth, as they have the in-scripted may 20, 1775 on their state flag.
Either way, it’s a pretty interesting story.
For more information on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence: