The Foundations Of Our Nation

THE CHARLOTTE TOWN RESOLVES:


              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

                          RESOLVES:

     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.

     1.  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.

     2.  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.

     3.  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.

     4.  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.

     5.  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.

     6.  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.

     7.  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.

     8.  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.

     9.  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.

    10.  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 the Convention.

    11.  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.

    12.  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.

    13.  That the Committee be accountable to the County for 
the Application of all Monies received from such public 
Officers.

    14.  That all these Officers hold their Commissions during 
the Pleasure of their respective Constituents.

    15.  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.

    16.  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.

    17.  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.

    18.  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.

    19.  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 this committee.

    20.  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.

               Signed by Order of the Commitee.

               EPH. BREVARD, Clerk of the Committee


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