Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, 1775

In case you think I’m spending too much time this month blogging about our local history, just keep in mind that May is an important month of historical events in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

My May 2, 2022 blog post, __#OnThisDay: 251st Anniversary of 1771 Gunpowder Plot__ was about patriots’ blowing up the king’s munitions just off the Great Wagon Road in present-day Cabarrus County.

Today, my blog is about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775 while present-day Cabarrus County was part of Mecklenburg County and its citizens played just as important a role in the declaration as anyone living in what is present-day Mecklenburg County.

Friday, May 20, 2022 was the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

A recreation of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

But what about the 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence?

I blogged about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 21, 2018. To refresh your memory, or to introduce you to the topic if you aren’t aware of it, the following nine paragraphs are reblogged from that post:

My immigrant ancestors were among the Scottish Presbyterian pioneers who settled old Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Years of discontent in the American colonies were piled on top of the anti-British Crown feelings they brought with them across the Atlantic.

Weary of unfair taxes imposed by the Crown and the discrimination they were subjected to as Presbyterians slowly brought the settlers to the boiling point. An example of the persecution these Presbyterians felt were the Vestry and Marriage Acts of 1769. Those acts fined Presbyterian ministers who dared to conduct marriage ceremonies. Only Anglican marriages were recognized by the government.

In May of 1771 a group of young men from the Rocky River Presbyterian Church congregation in the part of Mecklenburg County that later became Cabarrus County, disguised themselves by blackening their faces and under the cover of darkness ambushed a shipment of Royal munitions traveling north on the Great Wagon Road. The supplies were destined for Rowan County to put down the Regulator Movement.

Blowing up three wagons loaded with gunpowder and other supplies, the teens and young men who perpetrated the deed were declared outlaws by the Royal Governor and had to go into hiding until May 20, 1775 when all the citizens of Mecklenburg County were declared to be rebels against the British Crown.

On May 20, 1775, the citizens of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina declared themselves to be free and independent of the rule of Great Britain. It was a sober and sobering declaration not entered into lightly. Those American patriots meant business, and they knew the risks they were taking.

Archibald McCurdy, an Elder in Rocky River Presbyterian Church, heard the document read from the steps of the log courthouse in Charlotte. When he got home, he and his wife, Maggie, listed everyone they knew of who could be trusted in the coming fight for American independence.

No original copies of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence survive today. The local copy was lost in a house fire at the home of one of the signers. The copy taken to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia by Captain James Jack on horseback was also lost. Later, signers of the document recreated it from memory.

Nevertheless, those of us who were raised on stories of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the brave souls who risked their lives to sign it know that the document was real. The blood of the American patriots still flows in our veins and their spirit of freedom still beats in our hearts.

Don’t mess with our freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or our freedom of assembly!

Until my next blog post

I’m considering taking a week off from writing my blog, unless something interesting comes along and begs to be written. Next Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day in the United States of America. It is a day to remember all the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the armed forces of the United States.

I hope you have a good book to read until I blog again on June 6.

Take time for a relaxing hobby and spend some time with friends and family.

Remember the people of Ukraine.


7 thoughts on “Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, 1775

  1. Very interesting history Janet, and I certainly appreciate learning more and more. It seems that now not just the government but those huge corporate owners of most of the news channels and social media are intent on censuring and controlling the press. Too bad that there are so few people with the same spirit of freedom and independence as there were back in 1775. Now people are too lazy to fight and as long as they have their bread and circus, everything else is forgotten. I hope you have a nice week off and enjoy Memorial Day. We’re bracing for it here in Miami Beach because here the city allows for these Hip-Hop concerts and the city fills up with drug dealers and criminals and no one can even go out in the street once the sun goes down. They have to bring in cops from all over the county to reinforce the local ones and usually there are shootings, robberies, rapes and hundreds of arrests. When I was in the County police I was sent here a few times and it was like a war zone. I don’t know why the city of Miami Beach does this but it is horrible.
    Take good care and all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you enjoyed my post, Francis. It’s crazy that such chaos is permitted in Miami Beach over Memorial Day weekend. That’s the most obscene activity I’ve ever heard of to mark the holiday that’s supposed to be set aside to remember those who have lost their lives in the service of our country. The true purpose of the day has been lost in all the distractions to the point I fear many citizens don’t have a clue what the day is supposed to be about. I’m sorry you and your family and friends will be restricted in your activities this weekend so such criminal activity is allowed to take place. Enjoy your week until then. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, it has been a “practice” here in the City of Miami Beach since the early 2000’s when Luke Skywalker from the Rap group Two Live Crew proposed a hip-hop festival for Miami Beach and he chose the Memorial Day Weekend and the city council accepted. It was a disaster for the rest of us ever since that first year. The disrespect to the residents, the crime, the destruction of hotel rooms (well, they deserve it if they rent to such people) and to public and private property is incredible. We all watch from our balconies as an endless line of cars enters our downtown area (there are only two streets in Miami Beach, one southbound and the other northbound) they all blast us with incredibly loud music (that we do not want to hear) and since the traffic is stopped, they get out and dance on the street, piss in our gardens and terrorise the elderly…
    Thank God that on the last year I was here (2017) the city had an Air Force show to counter the arrival of the others…
    All the best Janet.

    Liked by 1 person

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