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Liberty Point Resolves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Liberty Point Resolves, also known as "The Cumberland Association", was a resolution signed by fifty residents of Cumberland County, North Carolina, early in the American Revolution.

On June 20, 1775, these Patriots, who had formed themselves into a group known simply as "The Association", met at Lewis Barge's tavern in Cross Creek (now part of Fayetteville) to sign a document protesting the actions of Great Britain following the battles of Lexington and Concord. The signers expressed the hope that Great Britain and the colonies would be reconciled, but vowed that, if necessary, they would "go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to secure her freedom and safety". The resolves were thus not a declaration of independence—public advocation for separation from Great Britain would not become common until 1776.

The period of the American Revolution was a time of divided loyalties in Cumberland County, and a considerable portion of the population, especially the Highland Scots who had immigrated in 1739, were staunchly loyal to the British Crown. Among them was the famous Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald. The Liberty Point document followed the similar Mecklenburg Resolutions by just a month and preceded the United States Declaration of Independence by a little more than a year.

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The First Continental Congress. Everything you need to know. For many colonists, the harsh reaction of Parliament to the Boston Tea Party was the final straw in a long list of abuses. In response, every colony except Georgia attended the Continental Congress where colonial leaders gathered to discuss the deteriorating relationship with Great Britain. What did colonial representatives decide to do? At Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, the debate took place behind locked doors. Several representatives, including Patrick Henry, believed that violence was unavoidable. Others, mainly from the mid-Atlantic colonies, argued that peace with Britain should be kept at all costs. Most everyone present agreed that the colonies should continue boycotting trade with Britain until the Intolerable (Coercive Acts) were lifted. In addition to extending the boycotts, the Continental Congress requested that each colony begin preparing their colonial militias for war by intensifying the training of soldiers for a colonial army. They also drafted a "Declaration and Resolves" to be presented to King George III that emphasized the colonists' rights to "life, liberty, and property." The declaration insisted that the original settlers of the American colonies had not forfeited or surrendered any of their "rights, liberties, and immunities," and that they, as descendants of those settlers, were entitled to the same liberties as anyone else "within the realm of England." After intense debate, the First Continental Congress did not seek separation from Great Britain. They instead opted to state the concerns of the colonists to King George III and grant him time to address and possibly correct the problems. However, before the First Continental Congress adjourned to leave Philadelphia, the delegates agreed to meet again in 1775 if the king refused their petition. When Patrick Henry returned from Congress to report to his fellow Virginians in the House of Burgesses, he encouraged them to support what was becoming known as the "Patriot" cause. "It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" The request to lift the Coercive Acts was met with more rules and British troops being sent to the colonies. As 1775 approached, many colonists were preparing for a fight. Regular militia units began training more often and a radical group called the Minutemen began to form. They were young men, mostly without children, who vowed to be ready to fight at a moment's notice.


The brief document read:

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 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 despotick 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 honour, and associate as a band in her defence 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.

Robert Rowan, who apparently organized the group, signed first. The names of other signers include those of families who made a deep imprint on the Cape Fear region, from colonial times onward: Barge, Powell, Evans, Elwell, Green, Carver, Council, Gee, Blocker, Hollingsworth. The event is commemorated today by a memorial and plaque in downtown Fayetteville, near the corner of Bow and Person Streets.



This page was last edited on 4 September 2020, at 06:38
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