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13 January, 2012
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.