Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence
Before the official U.S. Declaration of Independence, there was the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. A group of 27 prominent Charlotteans, including Hezekiah Alexander, Ephraim Brevard, John Davidson, Thomas Polk, and John Flennekin, were the original signers of the declaration, which was signed on May 20, 1775, a little more than a year before the nation’s Declaration of Independence.
The signers reorganized their local government and declared their independence from Britain. There is much controversy surrounding the authenticity of the declaration, especially given the fact that there is no original copy of the document, which is said to have been burned in a fire not long after it was signed.
Despite the debate, May 20 has been declared “Meck Day” in honor of the legendary local document and has been celebrated for more than 100 years. Former U.S. presidents Taft, Wilson, Eisenhower, and Ford have come to Charlotte to celebrate the historic event.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition