Saturday, August 17, 2013

"are causes sufficient to drive an oppressed people to the use of arms"

   Perhaps in the history of the world no civilized community ever occupied so anomalous a position as was seen in the limits of North Carolina. After the flight of Governor Martin there was no semblance of authority left in the province. Such men as John Hunt of Granville and Rev. William MeKenzie of the same county, applied to him for vacant places as Register and Rector, but no court was open for the dispatch of business and the work of maintaining order was entirely in the hands of the different County Committees of Safety. The Whigs were ceaselessly at work in forming these bodies and in procuring the signatures and support of the people to associations as they were called. These combinations contained written pledges of union in resisting the armed enforcement of British supremacy and their purport and end were patent in the paper which became famous as the "Cumberland Association." This document was really first adopted at Wilmington on June 19th [1775], and was furnished to the men at Cross Creek. It was as follows:
   The actual commencement of hostilities against the Continent, by the British troops, in the bloody scene on the 19th 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 the 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 in resisting force by force, do unite ourselves under every tie of religion and honor, 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.
[History of North Carolina; From the Earliest Discoveries to the Present Time. By John W. Moore. "SIC V0LVENDA AETAS COMMUTAT TEMP0RA RERUM; QUOD FUIT IN PRETIO, FIT NULLO DENIQUE HONORE."--Lucretius. RALEIGH: ALFRED WILLIAMS & CO., PUBLISHERS. UZZELL
& WILEY, PRINTERS AND BINDERS. 1880. Pg. 192-93]

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