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Thomas Jefferson - A Character Sketch
Jefferson and the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence
by Ellis, Edward S. (A.M.)


"On the 30th of April, 1819, some forty-three years after Jefferson's Declaration was written, there appeared in the Raleigh (N. C.) Register what purported to be a Declaration of Independence, drawn up by the citizens of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on May 20th, 1775. As this was nearly fourteen months before the Colonies declared their independence, and as many of the expressions in the Mecklenburg paper bore a striking resemblance to Jefferson's expressions, it excited a good deal of curiosity, and led to a discussion which has been continued to the present day. Those desirous of seeing the arguments pro and con, put in their latest and best form, will find them in two articles in the "Magazine of American History," in the January and March numbers of 1889.

"It is sufficient here to say that there was found among the British State papers, as well as in contemporaneous newspapers in this country, the original Mecklenburg paper, which was not a Declaration of Independence at all, but simply patriotic resolutions similar to those which were published in most of the Colonies at that time.

"And so the Mecklenburg Declaration takes its place with the stories of Pocahontas and of William Tell." Boutell.

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