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:—

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