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home : community : history September 27, 2022

7/8/2022 10:30:00 AM
Liberty Point Resolves
A roughly-cut granite monument stands on what is left of Liberty Point in Fayetteville. Centered on the monument is a smooth surface onto which are carved the names of all those that signed the Liberty Point Resolves. The names of “JOSEPH and ROBERT GREEN” are spelled on the monument incorrectly.  While the Liberty Point Resolves stopped short of a full declaration of independence, the monument in Wilmington calls them one.
A roughly-cut granite monument stands on what is left of Liberty Point in Fayetteville. Centered on the monument is a smooth surface onto which are carved the names of all those that signed the Liberty Point Resolves. The names of “JOSEPH and ROBERT GREEN” are spelled on the monument incorrectly.  While the Liberty Point Resolves stopped short of a full declaration of independence, the monument in Wilmington calls them one.
*The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is the name given to a document that was allegedly produced on May 20, 1775, when the residents of Mecklenburg County declared themselves "free and independent people." The so-called declaration did not surface until 1819, 44 years after the event, and many historians now doubt its authenticity.  The date of that supposed declaration is one of two on the North Carolina state flag.

Roy Lightfoot
Catawba Valley SAR


We just celebrated America's birthday based on the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  That, of course, wasn't the first such declaration.  North Carolina's state flag bears two dates of other supposed declarations.  Yet another similar resolution (but not a declaration of independence) was the Liberty Point Resolves of 1775.  This week, in our 53rd in our series of  articles from the SAR and DAR leading up to the celebration of America's 250th birthday in 2026, Roy Lightfoot of the Catawba Valley SAR tells about that declaration.

The Liberty Point Resolves

Compiled by Roy Lightfoot, Catawba Valley SAR

Another important document in North Carolina’s American Revolution history is the Liberty Point Resolves. This was also known in history as “The Cumberland Association,” which was a resolution signed by fifty residents of Cumberland County in eastern North Carolina, where present-day Fayetteville and Fort Bragg are located. On June 20th, 1775, after the Mecklenburg Declaration [*see note at right], a group of Patriots gathered to form a group known simply as “The Association” at Lewis Barge’s tavern in Cross Creek. They signed a document, protesting the actions of Great Britain, following the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775. The signers expressed the hope that hostilities could be reconciled, however, they vowed, if necessary, they would “go forth and be ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes to secure her freedom and safety.”

These resolves were not a declaration of independence as separation from Great Britain would not become commonplace until July 4th, 1776 with the United States’ Declaration of Independence. This would cause a divide within Cumberland County between the Loyalists and the Patriots. The Loyalists comprised a considerable portion of the population of the county including the Highland Scots who had immigrated there in 1739. They were staunchly loyal to the British Crown, among them the famous Scottish heroine, Flora MacDonald, who was a member of the Clan MacDonald of Sleat, and best known for helping Charles Edward Stuart evade government troops after the Battle of Culloden, Scotland, on April 16th, 1746. This was the last confrontation of the Jacobite uprising. She and her husband had come to North Carolina in 1773, and their continued support of the Crown caused them to lose all their lands, forcing them to return to Scotland.

The Liberty Resolves read as follows:

At a general meeting of the several Committees of the District of Wilmington, held at the Court-House in Wilmington, Tuesday, the 20th June, 1775

Resolved, That the following Association stand as the Association of this Committee, and that it be recommended to the inhabitants of this District to sign the same as speedily as possible.

THE ASSOCIATION.

The actual commencement of hostilities against the Continent by the British Troops, in the bloody scene on the nineteenth of April last, near Boston; the increase of arbitrary impositions, from a wicked and despotic Ministry; and the dread of instigated insurrections in the Colonies, are causes sufficient to drive an oppressed People to the use of arms: We, therefore, the subscribers of Cumberland County, holding ourselves bound by that most sacred of all obligations, the duty of good citizens towards an injured Country, and thoroughly convinced that under our distressed circumstances we shall be justified before you in resisting force by force; do unite ourselves under every tie of religion and honor, and associate as a band in her defense against every foe; hereby solemnly engaging, that whenever our Continental or Provincial Councils shall decree it necessary, we will go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to secure her freedom and safety. This obligation to continue in full force until, a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America, upon constitutional principles, an event we most ardently desire. And we will hold all those persons inimical to the liberty of the Colonies who shall refuse to subscribe to this Association; and we will in all things follow the advice of our General Committee, respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation of peace and good order, and the safety of individual and private property.

The organizer of the group, Robert Rowan, signed first. Others who signed included families who had a major impact on the Cape Fear region from that time forward, including: Barge, Powell, Evans, Elwell, Green, Carver, Council, Gee, Blocker, Hollingsworth. This event is remembered with a memorial in present-day Fayetteville, near the corner of Bow, and Person Streets.

The following is a list of the signers:

  • Robert Rowan
  • John Stephenson
  • Aaron Varden
  • Robert Council
  • Peter Messer
  • John Carraway
  • William Gellespie
  • Martin Leonard
  • Sam Hollingsworth
  • Micajah Terrell
  • William White
  • Simon Bandy
  • Maurice Nowlan
  • William Bathgate
  • Oners West
  • James Giffy
  • Thomas Cabein
  • William Herin
  • Thomas Moody
  • John Glendenin
  • John Wilson
  • Joseph Green
  • Robert Green
  • Theophilus Evans
  • Charles Stevens
  • George Fletcher
  • Robert Carver
  • Daniel Douse
  • David Evans
  • Robert Varner
  • Arthur Council
  • William Carver
  • Thomas Rae
  • Thomas White
  • Joshua Hadley
  • Joseph DeLespine
  • John Parker
  • James Pearl
  • Samuel Carver
  • James Dick
  • James Gee
  • John Elwell
  • David Shephard
  • James Edmunds
  • James Emmitt
  • John Jones
  • William Blocker
  • John Oliver
  • Walter Murray
  • Lewis Barge
  • George Barnes
  • Benjamin Elwell
  • David Dun

As before with the other documents discussed, one can only imagine what it took to state the following: (We) “do unite ourselves under every tie of religion and honor, and associate as a band in her defense against every foe” and “will go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to secure her freedom and safety.”






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If you're interested in history, we hope you are enjoying this series of articles.  Since 2012, the Lincoln Herald has been providing local news for Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties, information about community events, sports scores, the obituaries, and more.  We report the so-called 'hard news,' but we are also proud to provide information about the history of our historic area.  

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