Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence Marker, State Capitol, Raleigh
The large marble and bronze tablet commemorates the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and its twenty-seven signers. The tablet is composed of a large rectangular slab of marble surrounded by a bronze frame. The engraved inscription is bounded on the four corners of the marble with circular medallions. The frame is adorned with a border of pine cones in bas-relief.
IN COMMEMORATION / OF / THE MECKLENBURG / DECLARATION / OF / INDEPENDENCE / MAY 20, 1775 / AND / THE TWENTY SEVEN SIGNERS / ERECTED BY / THE NORTH CAROLINA SOCIETY / OF / COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA / 1912
State of North Carolina
May 20, 1912
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Ashe, Samuel A., Weeks, Stephen Beauregard, and Alexander, John McKitt. "An important document, the original first draught of the Mecklenburg Declaration, recently brought to light; a copy in the possession of the North Carolina Historical Commission (1916)," ([Raleigh, N.C.: 1916]), (accessed February 19, 2013) Link
Clark, Walter. "In Commemoration of the Famous 20th of May, 1775," (Raleigh, NC: 1912), (accessed May 31, 2012) Link
Folder 9: Volume 8: The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence: A history of Revolutionary events in the county of Mecklenburg, N.C., in the year 1775, scan 150, in the Daniel R. Goodloe Papers, #278, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link
North Carolina Society of the Colonial Dames of America
The monument was dedicated on May 20, 1912 on the 137th anniversary of the alleged signing of the Declaration. The Hon. Walter Clark, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, presented the tablet to the State and gave an address on the history of the signing and referred to the tablet as of "imperishable bronze." Governor William W. Kitchen accepted the tablet on behalf of the State, giving a brief acceptance speech. The tablet was unveiled in the Rotunda by the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America, accompanied by the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by the Raleigh High School Chorus, a benediction given by the Rev. William White, and the playing of "Columbia" by the Third Regiment Band.
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was reportedly signed on May 20, 1775, however the actual declaration has not been found and no additional strong documentary evidence is available surrounding the time of the event to corroborate its existence. Word of the battles at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts had already made its way to Charlotte, and on May 31, 1775, a committee of citizens in Mecklenburg County, the Mecklenburg County Committee of Safety, drafted the resolutions of the Mecklenburg Resolves, most likely distinct from the alleged May 20 Declaration. The Resolves had the same intent as the alleged Declaration as a declaration of the suspension of English authority over the colonies. In 1838, a document reported to be the contents of the Mecklenburg Declaration was published.
The marker sits in the rotunda of the Capital. The Capitol is located in Union Square on East Edenton Street.
The marker is located in the Rotunda, surrounded by other commemorative markers.