Thursday, January 08, 2004

Just added some more folks to the ol' blogroll. Of particular note is the link entitled "North State Blogs". Nope, it ain't a group of Yankees. This is a link to a group of bloggers that come from or live in North Carolina. Ya see, North Carolina was called "the Old North State" way back when & it's still something taught in the local schools. I wonder if they're still teaching about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence? Hopefully at least in Mecklenburg County, but who knows the way the government schools are nowadays.

So in honor of that (& because I'm feeling kindly homesick) I offer you the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independance in it's entirety

"1. That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted or in any way, form or manner countenanced to unchartered & dangerous invasion of our rights as claimed by G. Britain is an enemy to this County - to America & to the inherent & inaliable rights of man.

2. We the Citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby desolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country & hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown & abjure all political connection, contract or association with that nation who have wantonly trampled on our rights & liberties & inhumanely shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.

3. We do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people - are & of right ought to be a sovereign & self-governing association, under the controul of no power other than that of our God & the general government of the congress, to the maintainence of which independence civil & religious we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes & our most sacred honor.

4. As we now acknowledge the existence & controul of no law or legal officers, civil or military, within this County, we do hereby ordain & adopt as a rule of life, all, each & 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. It is also further decreed that all, each & every military officer in this County is hereby reinstated in his former command & 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 & determine all matters of controversy according to sd. adopted laws - to preserve peace, union & harmony in sd. County & to use every exertion to spread the love of country & fire of freedom throughout America until a more general & organized government be established in this province. A selection from the members present shall constitute a Committee of public safety for sd. County.

6. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by express to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, to be laid before that body.

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

& so as not to be without thoroughness in the matter, here's a link to the Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31rst 1775.

Ya see, when Mecklenburg County of North Carolina declared her independence from Great Britain, that effectively nullified every law in place at the time. But the declaration also adopted all former laws. what was lacking was a system of enforcement since all ties to the crown (including constables) had been severed. So the Resolves were necessary to create some kind of system of enforcing order.

I will repeat a few sections of the Resolves:

"4. That the Inhabitants of this County do meet on a certain Day appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to wit, eight for the County and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose a Colonel, and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great-Britain, and former Constitution of this Province."

"19. That the several Militia companies in this county do provide themselves with proper arms and accoutrements, and hold themselves in constant Readiness to execute the commands and Directions of the Provincial Congress, and of this committee."

"20. That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk, and Doctor Joseph Kennedy, to purchase 300 lb. of Powder, 600 lb. of Lead, and 1000 Flints; and deposit the same in some safe place, hereafter to be appointed by the committee."

Now there is some debate as to whether or not the Mecklenburg Declaration existed. As I remember hearing it one Captain James Jack arrived in Philedelphia on June 3rd, 1775 with the purpose of informing the Second Continental Congress of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. But Captain Jack does not. The most credible speculation I've heard for his not mentioning the mecklenburg declaration is that he was afraid it would nto be received well in Congress, since they were still contemplating peace with Great britain & the wording of said declaration was fairly hostile.

But what is not in dispute is the Mecklenburg Resolves. It never crossed my mind until I re-read them a few minutes ago, but it does seem to indicate that the militia was to provide its own arms doesn't it? It provides for a general purchase of powder, shot & flint by the militia as a whole, but it seems to state that the arms are to come from the militia members themselves.

Not that this is conclusive, but it does question the idea that arms were provided for the militia by the state (or county in this case). Or more accurately, it adds more evidence against the idea that militias of the time were not privately armed.

In any event, this is the end of my reminiscing about home & its history. Please check the blogroll as there are several new blogs (new to me at least) over there. Not all are in line with my politics, but the writing & discussions offered are good enough that this isn't an issue. & check out the North State Blogs link, as it has some very well written blogs from what I've seen so far.

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