to the maintenance of which they solemnly pledged to each other their mutual co-operation, their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor."
This is the proudest page in the history of North Carolina, and is full of patriotism, moral grandeur and sublimity. That some who have never risen to the height of this great argument, should endeavor to throw some doubts on this sublime act, is not to be wondered at, as the doubting Thomas would not believe in his Savior's resurrection unless he had tangible and visible proof; yet to all fair minds its verity safely rests on the dispatch of the Royal Governor Martin, dated Fort Johnson, North Carolina, 30th June, 1775, to the Earl of Dartmouth, in which he says:
"The resolves of the Committee of Mecklenberg, which your Lordship will find in the enclosed newspaper, surpasses all the horrid and treasonable publications that the inflammable spirits on this continent have yet produced, and your Lordship may depend its authors and abettors will not escape my due notice, whenever my hands are sufficiently strengthened to attempt the recovery of the lost authority of this government. A copy of these resolutions, I am informed, was sent off immediately by express to the Congress at Philadelphia."
I have copied the whole dispatch, the original of which is extant, in the Rolls Office in London. The dispatch is in the handwriting of Gov. Martin. Endorsed upon it are these words:
"I. Minutes of the Council.
"II. Resolves of the Committee of Mecklenberg County.
"III. Printed Proclamation."
These Resolutions were sent off (as Governor Martin states he was informed) to the Congress at Philadelphia, by Captain Jack, and "referred to a committee, who reported on the first of September, that the present Association ought to be further relied on for bringing about a reconciliation with the parent State." No further notice was taken, and this brilliant spark was lost in the blaze of the Federal Declaration of Independence, published the following year.*
There were Resolves of Mecklenberg passed on May 31, 1775, which were equally patriotic. Their authenticity has never been questioned. Therefore, it was very essential to obtain the enclosure of Governor Martin. This paper was missing from the files of the British rolls office. To produce this would settle the doubts of all. Mr. Jefferson, in a hasty letter to Mr. Adams, dated July 9, 1819, had pronounced the whole affair a myth.*
* Mr. Stevenson, of Virginia,
was at the time Envoy from the United States at London.
Mr. Bancroft, when Envoy to England, has searched in vain for this newspaper enclosed in Governor Martin's dispatch, and offered a reward for its recovery.
* Mr. Stevenson, of Virginia, was at the time Envoy from the United States at London.
The following note was then addressed to the Deputy Master of the Rolls, who has charge of these papers:
"No. 28 BURY ST., ST. JAMES', LONDON,
28 Jan., 1864.
"To Hon. Sir Thomas Hardy Duffus, Dep. Master
of the Rolls House, Chancery Lane, London:
"SIR: Under instructions of the Duke of New Castle, you have allowed me full and free access to all the papers in your office relative to the Colonial History of North Carolina.
"In Vol. 222, the official dispatch of Josiah Martin, (No. 34) then the Royal Governor of the Province of North Carolina, dated 30th June, 1775, enclosed several papers.
"One of these, 'The Cape Fear Mercury, stated by Governor Martin to contain the Mecklenburg Resolves of the Independent Committee has been removed, and in the place thereof is this endorsement in pencil:
" 'A paper taken out by Mr. Turner for Mr. Stevenson, 13 Aug., 1837.'*
* As it is now settled that
Mr. Jefferson at the time was opposed to independence, the North Carolina
delegates may not have apprised him of the Mecklenburg dispatch, and in such a
frame the publication which he must have seen made no lasting impression
on his mind.
* As it is now settled that Mr. Jefferson at the time was opposed to independence, the North Carolina delegates may not have apprised him of the Mecklenburg dispatch, and in such a frame the publication which he must have seen made no lasting impression on his mind.
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