Anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration

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Declaration Whether history or hoax, it reflects spirit of Mecklenburg in 1775, when people were ready to fight for freedom Mention the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and listeners split into two camps:

Believers: They point to ample evidence -- including statements from participants -- that 27 freedom-loving men met in Charlotte on May 20, 1775, and reacted to news of battles in Lexington and Concord, Mass., by declaring their independence from King George III.

Naysayers: They believe those soon-to-be revolutionaries adopted a set of resolves for self-governance on May 31, but years later confused them with a May 20 declaration that never existed.

The debate is fierce, ideological and unlikely to end unless someone finds an original copy of the declaration -- and in more than two centuries, no one has done so. But the naysayers, while they offer good arguments, must prove a negative -- that despite eyewitnesses who say otherwise, there was no declaration. That's difficult, for while it's easy to imagine some people involved in a self-serving mass delusion, it's harder to imagine when the people are Presbyterian elders.

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