First Declaration of Independence

That there was a prior Declaration of Independence to that of July 4; 1776, will be surprising information to the general mass of people in the United States and elsewhere. It is certainly a record not included in text-books or standard American histories. In Charlotte, N. C., however, a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was drawn up and signed more than a year before the United States of America's first Fourth of July, and May 20 is still a legal holiday in the state of North Carolina, while in Charlotte it is a day of great celebration with parades, meetings, and patriotic speeches.

The history of the Charlotte or Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence as accepted by the people of that locality is as follows:—

In the months of March and April, 1775, some of the more energetic men of Mecklenburg County, N. C., held meetings to agitate the question of opposing Parliament's claim to impose taxes without representation and regulate the colonies' internal policy. The sense of the people being for a resistance to Parliament's policy, Thomas Polk, then colonel commandant of the county, was directed to issue an order calling upon each captain of the militia to call a company meeting, each company to elect two delegates to meet in general committee on May 19, 1775. To these delegates ample power was given to adopt such measures as they thought necessary to defend the colony's rights, and to make common cause with the people of Massachusetts, already aflame with resentment against the mother country. Various leaders addressed the committee before its assembling, urging a firm stand.

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Increased Use of Wireless Telegraphy
June 6, 1901

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