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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Address before the Mecklenburg (N. C.) Historical Society. (search)
Address before the Mecklenburg (N. C.) Historical Society. By General D. H. Hill. [The distinguished author has kindly furnished us the following address, which we cheerfully publish in full, as every way worthy of preservation, and appropriate to our columns. General Hill wields, in vindicating the truth of history, a pen as ready as his sword was keen in defending the right.] Gentlemen of the Historical Society of Mecklenburg: Our president has appropriately introduced the seriMecklenburg: Our president has appropriately introduced the series of historical lectures with the inquiry, why so few have attempted to preserve the record of the great events in the history of North Carolina, and to. embalm the memories of the illustrious actors therein. Perhaps, it may not be amiss in me to pursue the same line of thought. For, if the neglect of our past history be due to the lack of materials, then our organization is in vain, and our time and our labor will be thrown away. The truth, however, is that our materials have been rich and
y those who knew only one side or the other, warrant a more extended notice. Leonidas Polk was descended from a family noted in our Revolutionary annals. It came from the north of Ireland about 1722, to Maryland; and about 1753, Thomas, the son of William Polk, found a congenial home in the Scotch-Irish settlement of Mecklenburg County, in the province of North Carolina. Here he married and prospered, attaining wealth and eminence among his people. It may be recollected that for Mecklenburg County is claimed the honor of making the first Declaration of Independence from the mother-country. According to the historian of these events, Colonel Thomas Polk convoked the meeting that took this first step in treason. He was a prime mover for resistance, an active patriot and soldier in the War of the Revolution, and rose to the rank of brigadier-general in the State forces. William Polk, his eldest son, then a lad not seventeen years old, left college in April, 1775, to become a
unded, and this necessitating a further search we continued on through the village in quest of some house not yet converted into a hospital. Such, however, seemed impossible to come upon, so at last the Count fixed on one whose upper floor, we learned, was unoccupied, though the lower one was covered with wounded. Mounting a creaky ladder — there was no stairway — to the upper story, we found a good-sized room with three large beds, one of which the Chancellor assigned to the Duke of Mecklenburg and aide, and another to Count Bismarck-Bohlen and me, reserving the remaining one for himself. Each bed, as is common in Germany and northern France, was provided with a feather tick, but the night being warm, these spreads were thrown off, and discovering that they would make a comfortable shakedown on the floor, I slept there leaving Bismarck-Bohlen unembarrassed by companionship-at least of a human kind. At daylight I awoke, and seeing that Count Bismarck was already dressed and
in such a trap; he has doubtless slipped off to Paris --a belief which I found to prevail pretty generally about headquarters. In the lull that succeeded, the King invited many of those about him to luncheon, a caterer having provided from some source or other a substantial meal of good bread, chops and peas, with a bountiful supply of red and sherry wines. Among those present were Prince Carl, Bismarck, Von Moltke, Von Roon, the Duke of Weimar, the Duke of Coburg, the Grand-Duke of Mecklenburg, Count Hatzfeldt, Colonel Walker, of the English army, Genera] Forsyth, and I. The King was agreeable and gracious at all times, but on this occasion he was particularly so, being naturally in a happy frame of mind because this day the war had reached a crisis which presaged for the near future the complete vanquishment of the French. Between 4 and 5 o'clock Colonel von Bronsart returned from his mission to Sedan, bringing word to the King that the commanding officer there, General W
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 16: Secession of Virginia and North Carolina declared.--seizure of Harper's Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard.--the first troops in Washington for its defense. (search)
he consent of the Legislature, and in holding or executing any office in such government. The Convention assembled on the 20th of May, the anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, In 1775 a Convention of the representatives of the citizens of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, held at Charlotte, passed a Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, held at Charlotte, passed a series of patriotic resolutions, equivalent in words and spirit to a declaration of independence of the Government of Great Britain. There is a well-founded dispute as to the day on which that declaration was adopted, one party declaring it to be the 20th of May, and another the 31st of May. For a minute account of that affair, l with the staff, on which was a single star, and the dates arranged as seen in the engraving, May 20, 1775, which was that of the promulgation of the so-called Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (mentioned in note 2, page 885), and May 20, 1861, on which day the politicians of North Carolina declared the bond that bound that
n was the very last merit to which he would have chosen to lay claim, his purpose being to embody the general convictions of his countrymen — their conceptions of human, as well as colonial, rights and British wrongs, in the fewest, strongest, and clearest words. The fact that some of these words had already been employed — some of them a hundred times — to set forth the same general truths, in no manner unfitted them for his use. The claim that his draft was a plagiarism from the Mecklenburg (N. C.) Declaration of April 20th, preceding, he indignantly repelled; but he always observed that he employed whatever terms best expressed his thought, and would not say how far he was indebted for them to his reading, how far to his original reflections. Even the great fundamental assertion of Human Rights, which he has so memorably set forth as follows: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable<
great interests of mankind throughout the globe. It is an aggressive war upon popular liberty in the United States, and its claims can never be conceded short of an absolute surrender of the rights of man and a craven recantation of the holy creed of freedom. I therefore call upon all the good people of this Commonwealth to return to their allegiance to the United States, and to rally around the standard of State loyalty, which we have reerected and placed side by side with the glorious flag of the republic. I adjure you as North Carolinians, mindful of the inspiring tradition of your history, and keeping in view your true interests and welfare as a people, to rise and assert your independence of the wicked tyrants who are seeking to enslave you. Remember the men of Mecklenburg and the martyrs of Alamance — dead, but of undying memory — and endeavor to repeat their valor and their patriotism. Marble Nash Taylor, Provisional Governor of North Carolina. Hatteras, Nov. 20, 186
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Avery, Waightstill, 1745-1821 (search)
Avery, Waightstill, 1745-1821 Lawyer; born in Groton, Conn.. May 3, 1745; studied law in Maryland. and began its practice in Mecklenburg county, N. C., in 1769. He was prominent there among the opposers of the obnoxious measures of the British Parliament bearing on the colonies, and was one of the promoters and signers of the famous Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Hillsborough in 1775 which organized the military forces of the StaMecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate to the Provincial Congress at Hillsborough in 1775 which organized the military forces of the State: and in the summer of 1776 he joined the army, under General Rutherford, in the Cherokee country. He was a commissioner in framing the treaty of Holston, which effected peace on the Western frontier. Mr. Avery was active in civil affairs; and in 1779 was colonel of the county militia, serving with great zeal during the British invasion of North Carolina. He removed to Burke county in 1781, which he represented in the State legislature many years. He was the first State attorney-general o
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Declaration of Independence in the light of modern criticism, the. (search)
ranter, or the history of Bacon in Virginia. John Stockton Littell describes the Declaration of Independence as that enduring monument at once of patriotism, and of genius and skill in the art of appropriation — asserting that for the sentiments and much of the language of it, Jefferson was indebted to Chief-Justice Drayton's charge to the grand jury of Charleston, delivered in April, 1776, as well as to the Declaration of Independence said to have been adopted by some citizens of Mecklenburg county, N. C., in May, 1775. Even the latest and most critical editor of the writings of Jefferson calls attention to the fact that a glance at the Declaration of Rights, as adopted by Virginia on June 12, 1776, would seem to indicate the source from which Jefferson derived a most important and popular part of his famous production. By no one, however, has the charge of a lack of originality been pressed with so much decisiveness as by John Adams, who took evident pleasure in speaking of it as
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Declaration of Independence, Mecklenburg, (search)
Declaration of Independence, Mecklenburg, A document alleged to have comprised a number of resolutions adopted at a meeting of the citizens of Mecklenburg county, N. C., in May, 1775, thus anteMecklenburg county, N. C., in May, 1775, thus antedating by more than a year that which is now universally recognized as the American Declaration of Independence. The Mecklenburg Declaration has been a subject of historical controversy from the timin brief, as follows: In the spring of 1775, Col. Adam Alexander called upon the people of Mecklenburg county to appoint delegates to a convention to devise ways and means to assist their brethren in nd to the inherent and inalienable rights of man. 2. Resolved, that we, the citizens of Mecklenburg county, do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the mother-country, and discovery of another set of resolutions, endorsed as having been adopted by the people of Mecklenburg county on May 31, or eleven days after the resolutions above quoted. The last set of resolutions
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