Carolina Observer
Fayetteville, N.C.
Found at North Carolina State Archives

13 Jan 1831


Authorizing the Public Treasurer to draw upon any of the government funds, provided the charges of government require the same.

For the publication of certain documents, [Directs the Governor to have published in pamphlet form the documents relative to the Declaration of Independence by the citizens of Mecklenburg and others in this State.]

Directing the Comptroller to balance the accounts of William Robards. late Public Treasurer.

Directing the State Librarian to purchase three copies of the Journal and Debates of the Federal Convention and State Conventions, and to discontinue the subscription for the North American Review.


In the House of Commons on the 3d inst., Mr. Polk, from the select committee to whom the subject had been referred, made the following report, which was concurred in, and the accompanying resolutions ordered to be engrossed and sent to the Senate for concurence:

The committee to whom it was referred to examine, collate and arrange in proper order such parts of the Journals of the Provencial Assemblies of North Carolina, as relate to the Declaration of American Independence; also such documents as relate to the Declaration of Independence made by the patriotic men of Mecklenburg in May 1775, and also such measures as relate to the same cause, adopted by the free men of Cumberland County county previous to the fourth of July 1776, in order to the publication and distribution of such documents, having performed the duty assigned them, respectively report:

That upon an attentive examination of the Journals of the Provincial Assembly of North Carolina, which met at Halifax in the month of Nov. 1776, the committee are of the opinion, that no selction could be made from the said journal to answer the purpose of the House. But as everything relating to that period, must be interesting to those who value the blessing of national independence, the committee recommend that the whole of the journal be printed, and receive the smae extended distribution which the resolution of the House contemplates for the proceedings in Mecklenburg and Cumberland. This course is deemed by the committee the more proper, because the journal is now out of print, and is highly probable that the copy in the possession of the committee is the only one now exists.

Your committee have also examined , colated and arranged, all the documents which have been accesssible to them, touching the Declaration of Independence by the citizens of Mecklenburgm and the proceedings of the free men of Cumberland.

By the publication of these papers, it will be fully verified , that as early as the month of May 1775, a portion of the people of N. Carolina, sensible that their wrongs could no longer be borne, without sacrificing both safety and honor, and that redress so often thought, so patently waited for, and so cruelly delayed, was no longer to be expected. And, by a public and solemn act, declare the dissolution of the ties which bound them to the crown and people of Great Britain, and did establish an independent, though temporary government for their own control and direction.

This first claim of Independence evinces such high sentiments of valour and patriotism, that we cannot, and ought not lightly to esteem the honor of having made it. The fact os the Declaration should be announced, its language should be published and perpetuated, and the names of the gallant representatives of Mecklenburg, with whom it originated, should be preserved from an oblivian, which, should it involve them, would as much dishonour us, as injure them. If the thought of Independence did not first ocurr to them, to them al least belongs the proud distinction of first given language to the thought; and it should be known, and, fortunately, it can still be conclusively established, that, the revolution received its first impulse towards Independence, however feeble that impulse might have been, in North Carolina. The committee are aware that this assertion has elsewhere been received with doubt, and at times met with denial; and it is, therefore, believed to be more strongly incumbent upon the House to usher to the world the Mecklenburg Declaration, accompanied with such testimonials of its genuiness as shall silence incredulity, and with such care for its general diffusion as shall forever secure it from being forgotten. And, in recounting the causes, the origin and the progress of our revolutionary struggle, till its finalissue in acknowledged independence, whatever the brilliant achievemnets of other States may have been, let it never be forgotten, that, at a period of darkness and opression, without concert with others, without assurances of support from any quarter, a few gallant North Carolinians, all fear of consequences lost in a sense of their country's wrongs, relying, under Heaven, solely upon themselves, nobly dared to assert, and resolved to maintain that independence, of which whoever might have thought, none had then spoken; and thus earned for themselves, and for their fellow citizens of North Carolina, the honor of giving birth to the first Declaration of Independence.

The committee respectfully recomend the adoption of the following resolutions.

All of which is submitted.
THOS G. POLK, Chr'm.
Resolved, That His Excellency the Governor be directed to case to be published in Pamphlet form the above report and the accompnying documents, in the manner and order following, viz. After the report, 1st, The Mecklenburg Declaration, with the names of the Delagates composing the meeting. 2d, The certificates testifying to the circumstances attending the the Declaration 3d, The proceedings of the Cumberland Association. And that he be further instructed to have reprinted in like manner, separate and distinct from the above, the accompanying Journal of the Provincial Assembly, held at Halifax in 1776.

Resolved further, That after publication, the Governor be instructed to distribute said documents as follows to wit: 20 copies of each to the Library of the state; to each of the libraries of the University 10 copies to the Library of Congress of the United States 10 copies; and one copy to each of the Executive of the several States of the Union.


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