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The Charlotte Town Resolves

CAROLINA, 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, viz.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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