Cherokee County Charters of Freedom, Murphy
The Charters of Freedom monument replicates the display for the Declaration of Independence,
U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as they are done at the National Archives in Washington,
D.C. The three displays exhibit the Declaration of Independence on the left, the Constitution
(four pages) in the center and the Bill of Rights on the right. The center display measures 12’ x
4’ x 3.5’ to 4.5’ and the side displays measure 4’ x 4’ x 3.5’ to 4.5’. The rear of the left display
has a Charters of Freedom information plaque and the right rear display contains a dedication
plaque. The rear of the center display holds a time capsule with a description plaque. There are
two small plaques on the front edge of the center monument – one says “We The People,” and
the other lists the names of the North Carolina Representatives who signed the Constitution;
John Penn, Joseph Hewes and William Hooper. These are raised lettering to allow school
children to do rubbings. Incised in the stone on each display is its name; DECLARATION OF
INDEPENDENCE, UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS. The center display has the
Charters of Freedom seal on a front panel. The granite and glass displays were built to last 300-
500 years. The time capsule at this monument along with others in North Carolina and across
the country will be opened concurrently on September 17, 2087 – the 300th Anniversary of the
Images (courtesy of Foundation Forward, Inc., http://www.chartersoffreedom.com): Far-off view | Declaration of Independence | Charters of Freedom Logo | Time Capsule Plaque
Dedication Plaque: THE CHARTERS OF FREEDOM / GIFTED BY VANCE AND MARY JO PATTERSON
/ BURKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA / TO THE CITIZENS OF CHEROKEE COUNTY / ON JULY 12,
“…WHEREVER THE PEOPLE ARE WELL INFORMED THEY / CAN BE TRUSTED WITH THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT” / - THOMAS JEFFERSON – 1789
“… A PEOPLE WHO MEAN TO BE THEIR OWN / GOVERNORS, MUST ARM THEMSELVES WITH THE / POWER KNOWLEDGE GIVES.” - / JAMES MADISON – 1822
“YOU CANNOT CONTROL WHAT YOU DO NOT / UNDERSTAND.” – VANCE PATTERSON – 2013
Information Plaque: THE CHARTERS OF FREEDOM / THE ORIGINAL CHARTERS OF FREEDOM ARE ON / DISPLAY IN THE ROTUNDA AT THE NATIONAL / ARCHIVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE WAS / ADOPTED ON JULY 4, 1776
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WAS ADOPTED / SEPTEMBER 17, 1787, RATIFIED IN 1788, AND / WENT INTO EFFECT MARCH4, 1788
THE BILL OF RIGHTS WAS PROPOSED SEPTEMBER / 25, 1789, AS 12 AMENDMENTS; TEN WERE / RATIFIED DECEMBER 15, 1791. THE REMAINING / TWO WERE NOT RATIFIED BUT APPEAR ON THE / ORIGINAL DOCUMENT. THESE FIRST TEN / AMENDMENTS RATIFIED ARE OUR BILL OF RIGHTS.
Time Capsule Plaque: THE CHARTERS OF FREEDOM / TIME CAPSULE / TO BE OPENED ON / CONSTITUTION DAY / SEPTEMBER 17, 2087 / TO CELEBRATE THE / 300TH ANNIVERSARY ADOPTION OF / THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
The Children and Citizens of Cherokee County, North Carolina
September 17, 2014
35.087970 , -84.033950 View in Geobrowse
Concrete, granite, bronze
Vance Patterson and family
The dedication plaque shows the date of July 12, 2014, but the formal dedication ceremony was held on Constitution Day, September 17, 2014.
Bronze documents: Tragart Bronze Company, Champaign, Illinois. Granite panels: Goldsprings Granite, Minnesota. Glass: Ace Glass, Columbia, SC. Bronze Plaque: Burke Memorial Park, Morganton, NC. Monument foundation: Suttlemyre Construction
The foundation is reinforced, poured concrete. The structures are reinforced, poured concrete covered with four inch thick polished granite. Each of the six documents is one quarter inch thick etched bronze weighing over 60 pounds.
Charters of Freedom Monuments are being placed across the United States by Foundation Forward, Inc. The foundation’s goal is to provide educational resources to children and citizens in the communities in which Charters of Freedom have been placed. The idea that evolved into Foundation Forward began on May 3, 2012 while Vance and Mary Jo Patterson were attending the National Day of Prayer meeting being held at the on the Old Burke County Courthouse Green in Morganton. The idea came to Mr. Patterson to try and duplicate his experiences when he and his wife had viewed the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights on a visit to the National Archives. He determined to bring that experience to the citizens of Burke County. The first monument was dedicated on July 2, 2014 at the Old Burke County Courthouse. Several dozen additional monuments have since been placed or are planned across North Carolina and in at least nine other states. Among already dedicated Charters of Freedom monuments are memorial complexes in Buncombe and Burke counties.
The memorial complex is located at the intersection of River Valley Avenue (Business US 19) and Peachtree Street in Murphy, NC. The memorial is on the left when traveling west on River Valley Avenue which changes names to Hiwassee Street at this same intersection.
The memorial complex stands in a small park like area with trees and bushes, a small patch of grass and brick patio with buildings on either side.
The monument is an educational resource for local schools, patriotic and religious celebrations and thoughtful contemplation.