Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Charlotte Town Resolves

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,

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

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

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

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

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

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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