A Meck Dec timeline

May. 19, 2014 @ 05:59 PM

A brief timeline of events relating to the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence:

May 1775 -- A group of Mecklenburg County leaders gather at the courthouse in Charlotte and adopt a set of resolutions. No original copies survived, but some locals remembered them asserting the county’s independence from Great Britain.

April 30, 1819 -- A Raleigh newspaper publishes a handwritten account of events around May 20, 1775, including the text of the “Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.” It is the first publication of the Declaration and prompts a national controversy about the document’s genuineness.

July 9, 1819 -- Thomas Jefferson, upon learning of the reported Declaration from John Adams, writes Adams that it is “spurious.”

1831 -- The North Carolina legislature publishes a detailed pamphlet based in part on eyewitness accounts of participants. It concludes that the Declaration was genuine.

1837 -- An historian discovers an abbreviated copy of Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775, in a South Carolina newspaper published in June 1775. In 1847, a complete copy of the Resolves is found in another newspaper. The Resolves declared ”that all laws and commissions confirmed by, of derived from the authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled and vacated,” but it did not declare independence. The newly discovered Resolves raised the question of whether it and the Declaration were different versions of the same document. That question has been the source of much discussion ever since.