Sunday, February 23, 2014


Following the defeat of the British Royal Troops at Moore’s Creek Bridge February 27, 1776 the calls for Independence became louder and stronger in North Carolina.  In April 1776 the Fourth Provincial Congress met in Halifax and a committee chaired by Cornelius Harnett debated “the usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parliament”.  On April 12 the delegates adopted the committee’s report, which became known as the “Halifax Resolves” and North Carolina became one of the first states to formally call for independence.

"The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parliament of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this province reported as follows, to wit,

It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan concerted by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrouled and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War Famine and every Species of Calamity daily employed in destroying the People and committing the most horrid devastations on the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people have been destroyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the most Lamentable distress.

And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter into the following Resolve, to wit

Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental Congress be impowered to concur with the other delegates of the other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign Alliances, resolving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a general Representation thereof to meet the delegates of the other Colonies for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out. "

Joseph Hewes
William Hooper     




William Hooper, Joseph Hewes and John Penn, North Carolina delegates and signers of the Declaration of Independence for North Carolina.
With the passing of the Halifax Resolves, North Carolina became the first colony to directly make recommendations to all the delegates at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Three months later on July 4th the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

Posted by Diane B. Price

source: "A Chronicle of North Carolina during the American Revolution 1768-1789" by Jeffrey J. Crow , copyright 1975  the NC Division of Archives and History

No comments:

Post a Comment