RESOLVES ADOPTED IN CHARLOTTE TOWN, MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NORTH
CAROLINA, MAY 31, 1775
Charlotte Town, Mecklenburg County, May 31.
This Day the Committee met, and passed the following
Whereas by an Address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of Parliament
in February last, the American Colonies are declared to be in a State of
actual Rebelion, we conceive that all Laws and Commissions confirmed by,
or derived from the Authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled and
vacated, and the former civil Constitution of these Colinies for the present
wholly suspended. To provide in some Degree for the Exigencies of the County
in the present alarming Period, we deem it proper and necessary to pass
the following Resolves, viz.
That all Commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the Crown,
to be exercised in these Colonies, are null and void, and the Constitution
of each particular Colony wholly suspended.
That the Provincial Congress of each Province, under the Direction of the
Great Continental Congress, is invested with all legislative and executive
Powers within their respective Provinces; and that no other Legislative
or Executive does or can exist, at this time, in any of these Colonies.
As all former Laws are now suspended in this Province, and the Congress
have not yet provided others, we judge it necessary, for the better Preservation
of good Order, to form certain Rules and Regulations for the internal Government
of this County, until Laws shall be provided for us by the Congress.
That the Inhabitants of this County do meet on a certain Day appointed
by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to
wit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose
a Colonel and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their
several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great-Britain,
and former Constitution of this Province.
That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration of Justice,
each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two discreet Freeholders,
who shall be impowered each by himself, and singly, to decide and determine
all Matters of Controversy arising within the said Company under the Sum
of Twenty Shillings, and jointly and together all Controversies under the
Sum of Forty Shillings, yet so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals
to the Convention of the Select Men of the whole County; and also, that
any one of these shall have Power to examine, and commit to Confinement,
Persons accused of Petit Larceny.
That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, choose
from the Body of their particular Company two Persons, properly qualified
to serve as Constables, who may assist them in the Execution of their Office.
That upon the Complaint of any Person to either of these Select Men, he
do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding him to bring
the Aggressor before him or them to answer the said Complaint.
That these eighteen Select Men, thus appointed, do meet every third Tuesday
in January, April, July, and October, at the Court-House, in Charlotte,
to hear and determine all Matters of Controversy for Sums exceeding Forty
Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, to commit the Person or
Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, until the Provincial Congress
shall provide and establish Laws and Modes of Proceeding in all such Cases.
That these Eighteen Select Men, thus convened, do choose a Clerk to record
the Transactions of said Convention; and that the said Clerk, upon the
Application of any Person or Persons aggrieved, do issue his Warrant to
one of the Constables, to summon and warn said Offender to appear before
the Convention at their next sittinbg, to answer the aforesaid Complaint.
That any Person making Complaint upon Oath to the Clerk, or any Member
of the Convention, that he has Reason to suspect that any Person or Persons
indebted to him in a Sum above Forty Shillings, do intend clandestinely
to withdraw from the County without paying such Debt; the Clerk, or such
Member, shall issue his Warrant to the Constable, commanding him to take
the said Person or Persons into safe Custody, until the next sitting of
That when a Debtor for a Sum below Forty Shillings shall abscond and leave
the County, the Warrant granted as aforesaid shall extend to any Goods
or Chattels of the said Debtor as may be found, and such Goods or Chattels
be seized and held in Custody by the Constable for the Space of Thirty
Days; in which Term if the Debtor fails to return and discharge the Debt,
the Constable shall return the Warrant to one of the Select Men of the
Company where the Goods and Chattels are found, who shall issue Orders
to the Constable to sell such a Part of the said Goods as shall amount
to the Sum due; that when the Debt exceeds Forty Shillings, the Return
shall be made to the Convention, who shall issue the Orders for Sale.
That all Receivers and Collectors of Quitrents, Public and County Taxes,
do pay the same into the Hands of the Chairman of this Committee, to be
by them disbursed as the public Exigencies may require. And that such Receivers
and Collectors proceed no farther in their Office until they be approved
of by, and have given to this Committee good and sufficient Security for
a faithful Return of such Monies when collected.
That the Committee be accountable to the County for the Application of
all Monies received from such public Officers.
That all these Officers hold their Commissions during the Pleasure of their
That this Commission will sustain all Damages that may ever hereafter accrue
to all or any of these Officers thus appointed, and thus acting, on Account
of their Obedience and Conformity to these Resolves.
That whatever Person shall hereafter receive a Commission from the Crown,
or attempt to exercise any such Commission heretofore received, shall be
deemed an Enemy to his Country; and upon Information being made to the
Captain of the Company where he resides, the said Captain shall cause him
to be apprehended, and conveyed before the two Select Men of the said Company,
who, upon Proof of the Fact, shall commit him the said Offender, into safe
Custody, until the next setting of the Convention, who shall deal with
him as Prudence may direct.
That any Person refusing to yield Obedience to the above Resolves shall
be deemed equally criminal, and liable to the same Punishments as the Offenders
above last mentioned.
That these Resolves be in full Force and Virtue, until Instructions from
the General Congress of this Province, regulating the Jurisprudence of
this Province, shall provide otherwise, or the legislative Body of Great-Britain
resign its unjust and arbitrary Pretentions with Respect to America.
That the several Militia Companies in this county do provide themselves
with proper Arms and Accoutrements, and hold themselves in Readiness to
execute the commands and Directions of the Provincial Congress, and of
That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk, and Doctor Joseph Kennedy,
to purchase 300 lb. of Powder, 600 lb. of Lead, and 1000 Flints, and deposit
the same in some safe Place, hereafter to be appointed by the committee.