Friday, March 29, 2024

"Every Man is Born Free" 1644 / "All Men Are Created Equal" 1776. Really?

These two similar-looking quotes – firstly from Samuel Rutherford's 1644 Lex Rex, and secondly from the Declaration of Independence of 1776 – are in fact very different.The whole question of free will was a major debate for Erasmus and Martin Luther in the early years of the Protestant Reformation.

Luther masterfully argued that while free will was desirable, it was impossible, because our will is not truly free, but it is in fact warped and fallen, and subject to its own inherent distortedness. Only Christ, as the only perfect righteous human, was truly free. Luther published his case in On The Bondage of the Will (1525). Another way to look at this is the old adage by Thomas Cranmer "what the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies." What our heart loves directs our behaviour.

Here's an article about it, on the Lutheran website

Robert Sapolsky has recently published Determined: Life Without Free Will (Guardian review here).


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Henry Joy, Belfast, 1792 – "America did not acquire her love of liberty in the new world, but carried it out from the old" - linking 1688 with 1776, and 1789.

There was a time when Belfast's 'thought leaders' – as demonstrated in the recent posts here about the Northern Whig Club – understood that the American Revolution of 1776 (which was for them within living memory) had been inspired by the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

However, when I mention this today, the reaction is usually one of shock and incredulity, and that's from people right across our present day political spectrum. Trapped within the reinforced binary of nationality, many find the larger concept of liberty hard to comprehend. 

In a 1794 volume dedicated to 'Alexander Henry Haliday, a lover of liberty' (who has been mentioned in these recent posts) is the following quote, from the author and newspaper man Henry Joy (1754-1835). In an article that was first printed in the Belfast News-Letter on 6 December 1792, Joy expressly connected 1688 with 1776, and also with the French Revolution of 1789:

“At a period when republics are exhibited as models of perfection, I am persuaded it is consistent with the spirit of a free press, to recommend the principles of the British Constitution…

America did not acquire her love of liberty in the new world, but carried it out from the old. In forming a Constitution for herself, she retained several of the finest branches of the British, lopping off with a careful hand what she deemed excressences that had formed round the parent stem …

It is the fashion of the hour, and as ridiculous as most fashions are, to depreciate the Revolution of 1688—and to despise the securities for our liberty, which that great transaction afforded. That Revolution expelled a Prince from the throne for attempting to govern without law. It preserved a spirit of freedom in these countries, which burst out again in America near ninety years afterwards; and travelling back, communicated its flame to Gallic slaves, converted in these latter days into free men, and become the hope of the world…”

• From Thoughts on the British Constitution, Henry Joy, dated 6 December 1792. Published in the 1794 compilation Belfast Politics, online here.

PS: 1792 was also the year that Henry Joy was one of the organisers of the Belfast Harp Festival, and 1794 was also the year that he visited Robert Burns in Dumfries.

PPS: Alexander Haliday's father, Rev Samuel Haliday, was a lifelong friend of Francis Hutcheson, the Saintfield-born 'Father of the Scottish Enlightenment'.

Even though these were 'New Light' Presbyterians, Patrick Griffin asserts that "New Lights did not seek to create an established Presbyterian church for Ulster. They contended that the very notion of an establishment, compelling individuals to act against dictates of conscience, contradicted the liberating rhetoric of the Glorious Revolution".

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Northern Whig Club, Belfast, 1790 – "steady friends of the Revolution", celebrating the Revolution of 1688

So here's another treasure trove to challenge present-day preconceptions. On page 348 of his Historical Collections Relative to the Town of Belfast (online hereHenry Joy (DIB entry here) reprinted an article from the Belfast News Letter, on how Belfast marked the second anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille in 1789, which they connected back to both the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the American Revolution of 1776.


July 14, 1791

"...The Inhabitants of Belfast and its neighbourhood the more strongly to mark their abhorrence of despotism their love of liberty and their attachment to their brethren of mankind dedicated this day to the commemoration of the greatest event in human annals commemoration of the greatest event in human annals.

In the striking serious and splendid manner which they adopted for celebrating the destruction of the BASTILE they were actuated by the same principle which in the last century taught them to rejoice in the dethronement of a despot James II by the Revolution of 1688 and attached them to the line now on the throne by the same principle that led them to deprecate an unjust war on their then fellow subjects in America that prompted them to take the lead in forming a Volunteer army that made them declare their sentiments in the most decided tone on the subject of restoring to imperial Ireland her independency as a Sovereign State and that determined them to assert the necessity of purifying the tainted parts of the Constitution by giving the People their due influence in the legislation of this kingdom..."


And, below, are just two of a number of newspaper reports from the British Newspaper Archive which show the Northern Whig Club celebrating the Glorious Revolution of 1688, even holding a meal in the Donegall Arms on the 4th November to mark William of Orange's birthday. They also commemorated 1776, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

In this list of the club's original members from April 1790 there are quite a few who have only been remembered to popular history as having been United Irishmen. Even in this acclaimed book, no mention is made of these wider connections.

Yet again it seems that there are important, missing, chapters in our history. To change your reality you have to change your story. More to follow...

Friday, March 22, 2024

The Northern Whig Club, Belfast, 1790 "zealous friends of liberty" – Alexander Henry Haliday, Archibald Hamilton Rowan, and William Drennan

I'm chipping away at a big forgotten story around Killyleagh in County Down. In working on that, I have been re-reading the 1840 autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan. I read it just over a year ago, and posted these thoughts on how revolted AHR was by what he witnessed in the bloodbath of the French Revolution. In that autobiography, he refers to being a founder member of the Northern Whig Club, an organisation which predated the formation of the Society of United Irishmen in Belfast in 1791. There is a large overlap between the two organisations. Here is an extract:

In 1790, the Northern Whig Club was formed in Belfast by some zealous friends of liberty, at the suggestion of Lord Charlemont, who had been chiefly instrumental in forming the Whig Club of Dublin. His friend and correspondent, Dr. Haliday, entered warmly into his views, and the club was formed under the most favourable auspices; and with the hope that by promoting the cause of constitutional freedom, the progress of the wild democratical notions, which now began to prevail, might be arrested. Of this society, which soon comprehended some of the most distinguished names in the north of Ireland, Gawin Hamilton, Esq. was appointed president, and Dr. Haliday secretary.

William Hamilton Drummond suggests that it was another United Irishman, William Drennan, who wrote this short biography of Haliday, which was published in the Belfast Monthly Magazine of September 1810:

Alexander Henry Haliday, M.D. a gentleman, who, for the space of half a century, illustrated his native town of Belfast by a character distinguished for private worth, consistent public spirit, much elegant accomplishment, and high professional reputation… In his political principles he was a genuine Whig; not understanding by that denomination, the mere factionary of a powerful party, but the hearty hater of arbitrary power, whether exercised by individuals or by parties; the zealous, yet the judicious advocate of civil and religious freedom; the strong upholder of those popular principles which form the living spirit of the British constitution, and which, at different periods, have called forth all the heroism of British story. It was at the civic commemoration of those illustrious epochs, in which Haliday gave his head and heart to the social celebration, while he supported at the same time the just prerogatives of the crown, as perfectly compatible with the original and ultimate sovereignty of the people.

- from the Autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan, p 149 (online here)

Alexander Henry Haliday is on the Dictionary of Irish Biography here. Terminology like "hearty hater of arbitrary power... advocate of civil and religious liberty ... the living spirit of the British constitution" are not to be expected from the modern portrayals of Hamilton Rowan, Drennan, and the United Irishmen. There are further, seemingly pro-British, remarks in AHR's autobiography. Not at all what I expected to see there. Here are two:

"... equal representation of the people in parliament, which I conceive to be the essence of the British constitution, and which I esteem to be of absolute necessity for the peace and liberty of Ireland..." -  a letter to the United Irishmen from Newgate Prison, written 5 February 1794

"...that tree, to flourish, must grow out of the famed equality of rights under the British constitution, and a real representation of the people in parliament ; it must be fostered by brotherly love and universal benevolence, and not be transplanted from a foreign soil..." - a message to his neighbours of Killyleagh, 24th April 1816

Maybe I am missing a level of irony or subtlety that is way over my head. Maybe he was writing under duress. Maybe the meaning and context of these words carried different meaning then than they do for us reading them today. Or, maybe Archibald Hamilton Rowan's story has been simplified and he has been co-opted as a "mascot" for others' purposes long after his lifetime. There is always more to learn.

More on The Northern Whig Club to follow. 

• Upon Haliday's death, William Drennan wrote that he had been "A genuine Whig ... nurtured under the philosophy of Hutcheson ... in the principles of civil and religious liberty he lived and in them be died". That's Francis Hutcheson of Saintfield. 

• The photos here are of the impressive Northern Whig newspaper building in Bridge Street in Belfast. The newspaper of the same name was founded in 1823; the building is now a restaurant. It is just across the road from the more renowned Assembly Rooms.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Lord Chief Justice Nugent, November 1688 - they'll be "hung up all over England in bunches like ropes of onions"

We live in a country where the public have the freedom to complain about the state. This is, at least to some extent, due to the 1689 Bill of Rights which was introduced as the first package of laws by King William III and Queen Mary II at their coronation on 18 April (which, if the country was run by people who cared about liberty, should be an annual national holiday. It is, after all, carved into the old city wall in Geneva - pic above).

The previous regime was not so keen on such things, they preferred summarily rounding people up who opposed them. Check this out, from the Dublin government and Lord Chief Justice Thomas Nugent, in November 1688, when they received news of William's arrival –

“… a ship came from Amsterdam to Dublin, with letters from a friend of Tyrconnel's, to acquaint him that he did imagine the Prince of Orange had a design against England since none in Holland could guess what else the great and hasty preparations made there should mean; Tyrconnel sent this letter to the secretary of state who shewed it the King; but they made no other use of it than to scorn and ridicule his intelligence as the secretary did in a letter sent back to him.

But fresh suspicions daily arose, and the matter seemed still more probable; whereupon the huffing Irish called the English, rebels, saying they were sure they would join with the Prince, and as certain that they would be beaten, and be served the same sauce as Monmouth was; and bloodily and maliciously expressed themselves against the Prince, whose head they threatened to stick on a pole, and carry it round the kingdom; and after King James's proclamation came to them, Lord Chief Justice Nugent, that confident ignorant Irishman, in his charge to the jury, among other villifying reproaches upon the Prince of Orange, audaciously and impudently added:

“that now the states of Holland were weary of their Prince they had sent him over to be dressed as Monmouth was but that was too good for him and that he doubted not before a month passed to hear that they were hung up all over England in bunches like ropes of onions”.

• This account was by John Oldmixon of Bristol, a supporter and survivor of the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion of 1685. He had seen hundreds of his neighbours treated in the same manner, by the kangaroo courts and executioner butchers sent to south west England by King James II. His 1730 History of England is online here. Here is an illustration from a grisly set of playing cards which were produced to maintain the memory of those times.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Another revolution?

It's not 1688 any more, or 1776, or even 1916 or 1921. But if this is what a present-day revolution against arbitrary power looks like, sign me up. Echoes of the famous quote from the American commentator Dick Tuck. Today's ivory towered cultural élites lecture, punch down and 'gaslight' everyone beneath them about "privilege" - whilst every one of their own pronouncements evidences their own privilege, their own "luxury beliefs" which they espouse but have no impact upon them themselves, and their own control of social and cultural power. Imperialism and colonialism in 2024 is both cultural and ideological. Well done to the people down south who refused to comply.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Don't take it from me, take it from Winston Churchill - 1776 was based upon 1688

He has repeatedly been voted the Greatest Ever Briton, and the very first of just 8 Honorary Citizens of the United States. He wrote this:

"The Declaration (of Independence) was in the main a restatement of the principles which had animated the Whig struggle against the later Stuarts and the English Revolution of 1688, and it now became the symbol and the rallying centre of the Patriot cause"

– from History of the English Speaking Peoples, Volume II (1956). The final chapter of Volume II is entitled 'The Revolution of 1688'; the first chapter of Volume III is entitled 'William of Orange'. It's brilliant stuff, and very far removed from the narrow Northern Ireland version of events.

He paints a scene of a pan-European alliance of Protestants / Calvinists and all mainstream Catholics, united against James II and Louis XIV. 

“Diverse interests and creeds united in a strategy far-seeing and broad-minded”

Churchill’s ancestor, Sir John Churchill, was one of the first group of nobles in SW England to defect/mutiny from James II in rebellion.

History goes full circle: Sir John Churchill joined a pan-European allied force which crossed English Channel to overthrow a tyrant in 1688. His descendant Winston Churchill co-led a pan-European (&US) allied force which crossed English Channel to overthrow a tyrant in 1940s.


Here is another source about William's 1688 Declaration:

"...Having brought matters to a great forwardness, the Prince of Orange, to justify his under-taking to the world, published a Declaration divided into 26 articles, in which all the mischiefs and grievances of this unhappy Reign are particularly enumerated, and a redress proposed by a free Parliament; which Declaration, as it would give too great an interruption to the thread of the narrative, is omitted here, and placed at large in the Appendix, more especially as the matter of it is particularly set forth in the several parts of this life.

The said Declaration was ready to be sent over to England, with another of the same import to Scotland, when the Prince being informed, that K. James by granting most of the Bishops demands, and retracting many of the arbitrary and despotick actions he had assumed to exercise, had taken measures to render it ineffectual; and as the Partizans of K. James had industriously spread it abroad, that the Prince intended to conquer and enslave the nation, his Highness to obviate these new pretences caused 14 days after an addition to be made to it, shewing the imperfectness of the redress offered, since the King might resume at pleasure, what he then seemed willing to lay down, and that there could be no secure remedy but from a free Parliament; and arguing from the disposition of his forces, and the numbers of the principal nobility and gentry attending him in his expedition, how vain the pretence was that he intended a conquest.

With those Declarations the Prince ordered a letter to be written in his name, inviting the soldiers, seamen, and others, to join him, in order to secure their Religion, Laws and Liberties..."

• From Walter Harris The History of the Life and Reign of William-Henry, Prince of Nassau and Orange, Stadtholder of the United Provinces (1749) p 136-7 : online here

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The Siege of Derry, Bishop William King, and concepts of Liberty: "if liberty be lost it is never to be retrieved"

The gates of Londonderry were closed on 7 December 1688, in the face of an army bearing down upon them which was led by the Earl of Antrim. In late February 1689, the Dublin government of King James II received a leaked intel report which said that the northern civilian population:

"... were untrained, and had few experienced officers: that the most part were without arms; and, such as had them, their arms were unfixt and unfit for service; that they were very much scattered, and their number not near what had been written, and was confidently reported in Dublin; and that they wanted all ammunition and necessary provisions for appearing in the field..." (online here). 

So, it was time for the government to strike. Derry was in rebellion. King James II was on his way to Ireland to try to build a counter-offensive to reclaim his throne. A new King and new Queen had been offered the crown, but coronation hadn't yet happened. Any potential opposition needed to be crushed. Now.

Just over a week later on 7 March 1689, the government issued 'A Proclamation' (online here) which pretty much criminalised the entire population of "the province of Ulster ... no less offence than high treason" and announced that the army had been approved "to march into the province of Ulster to reduce the rebels there by force of arms". It offered pardon to any who would surrender, except for ten named individuals.

The proclamation probably gave the government a degree of legal cover for what they planned to do (although in the age of the king having 'arbitrary power', and long before the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the King could do whatever he wanted). It promised leniency towards the civilian population, but in fact there are widespread accounts of army brutalisation and 'perfidious acts' unleashed upon against the general public in a campaign of oppression. James recruited men with skills in civilian persecution elsewhere, such as Conrad Von Rosen, who wrote –

"... the wives and children of the rebels in Londonderry have retired to Belfast and the neighbouring places, and the hardiness of their husbands and fathers deserves the severest chastisements ... make an exact research in Belfast and its neighbourhood, after such subjects as are rebellious to the will of the king, whether men, women, boys, or girls, without exception, and whether they are protected or unprotected, to arrest them and collect them together, that they may be conducted by a detachment to this camp, and driven under the walls of Londonderry, where they shall be allowed to starve, in sight of the rebels within the town ..."

King James II himself arrived at the historic walls on 18 April 1689, beginning the formal Siege of Derry. The siege ended 105 days later on 1 August.  If we count the whole period, from the shutting of the gates on 7 December 1688 right through until 1 August it makes a grand total of 237 days.

It is impossible for us to imagine the conditions that 30,000 people within the walls had to endure; these were experiences which drove emigration to America, the stories of which were handed down to the American-born generations that followed.

One of those who knew many of the survivors was Bishop William King. On page four of his 1691 publication The State of the Protestants of Ireland (online here), he makes this statement –

"… If we look back into history we shall find the best the happiest most prosperous people most jealous of their liberty and while they continued firm in their resolution of maintaining it against the encroachment of their governors even with the hazard of their lives they have continued great and happy; but no sooner did they degenerate from this zeal, but they became contemptible and dwindled into nothing: 

and at this day let us look into the whole world and we shall find every nation happy and thriving at home and easy to their neighbours abroad according as they have preserved themselves from slavery whereas all countries under unlimited monarchies decay in their strength and improvements and though they may flourish for a little time by the ruin of their lesser neighbours yet they at last unpeople their own countries and seem to be permitted by God to come to that exorbitant power for their own ruin and for a plague to mankind.

And indeed the greatest mischief of a civil war is the danger of subjecting the state to the absolute power of some potent general as it happened in Rome, Florence, and in England in the late civil war: for to lose even half the subjects in a war is more tolerable than the loss of liberty since if liberty and good laws be preserved an age or two will repair the loss of subjects and improvements though they be ever so great but if liberty be lost it is never to be retrieved but brings certain and infallible destruction*; as it did to Rome, and has brought in a great measure to Florence, and will to England if ever the prerogative do swallow up the liberties and privileges of the subjects. So far it is from truth that the allowing of resistance in some cases of extremity has greater inconveniences than absolute subjection ..."

The Boston Revolt in Massachussetts began 18 April 1689 on the same day as the Siege of Derry. When the 13 British colonies of America sought liberty - and eventually a new revolution - in the 1770s many of their writers and thinkers pointed back to the Glorious Revolution.

Agreed concepts - and actual experiences - of liberty bound the transatlantic community together. The only solution to the tyrannies they endured was liberty, which was backed up by a legally binding Bill of Rights to protect the citizenry.


A famous quote at the time, from the diary of soldier John Hunter, says this:

“I am sure it was the Lord kept the city, and none else; for there were many of us that could hardly stand on our feet before the enemy attacked the walls, who, when they were assaulting the out-trenches, ran out against them most nimbly and with great courage. Indeed, it was never the poor, starved men that were in Derry that kept it out, but the mighty God of Jacob, to whom praise for ever and ever.” 


In The Declaration of the Inhabitants of Derry of December 1688 (online here), there are echoes of their descendants' thinking in the 13 Colonies in the 1770s. Each community demanded their liberties whilst at the same time expressing their loyalty to the King:

"...Wherefore we do declare and remonstrate to the world that, as we have resolved to stand upon our guard, and defend our walls, and not to admit of any Papists whatsoever to quarter among us, so we have firmly and sincerely determined to persevere in our duty and loyalty to our sovereign Lord the King, without the least umbrage of mutiny or seditious opposition to his royal commands..."  


John Graham, in Ireland Preserved, records the kindnesses of some local Catholic parish priests towards their Protestant neighbours who were in distress - see p 283-4 here.

The critical lesson here is that your relationship to institutional power - a state, a church, a monarchy, etc - is not the same as your relationship with your neighbour. However, some form of institutional power is probably trying to emotionally recruit you, while a competing one is trying to emotionally recruit your neighbour - and thereby to set you against each other.

As Rev Thomas Witherow said in his 1873 book about Derry, 'Every admirer of King William should remember that, as that great monarch often said, he had come over "to deliver the Protestants, but not to persecute the Papists." To tolerate honest difference of opinion, is the spirit that William always aimed to promote.' 


* this all sounds much like Patrick Henry's famous 'give me liberty or give me death' (Wikipedia here). Patrick Henry's father was from Aberdeen; his sister Elizabeth was married to Ulster descended William Campbell, one of the signatories to the Fincastle Resolutions of 20 January 1775 (see previous post here).

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Declaration of Independence - Part Two: The 'Declaration' of William Prince of Orange, 10 October 1688


Last weekend while visiting family in Devon, we stayed at Parliament Cottage which nestles in the hollows near Totnes in Devon. A place of treason and Revolution. An area where, in 1685, locals had been rounded up and executed for their part in a defeated rebellion. So I made this very rough video. In the front garden is a monument commemorating that William, Prince of Orange, held his very first Parliament here in November 1688, having landed with his vast armada on the coast at Brixham just 8 miles away. The cottage has been beautifully restored in recent years by its current owners and is now available via Air BNB as holiday accommodation. Present at William's 1688 Parliament were various English nobles such as Sir Edward Seymour; some sources say that they all then went to Seymour's nearby castle of Berry Pomeroy to be entertained.

I brought the iPad with me, and read William's Declaration through a few times at the very same fireside that William himself had sat beside in 1688. I've just written an 11,000 word paper on the multiple interconnections between William's 1688 Declaration and the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, which will soon be published in the Journal of the Museum of Orange Heritage. Renowned American authorities on the period such as Gary Wills and Michael Barone have written about those indisputable links; I touched on some of those links in some of the similar 'selfie' videos I made when in Boston just before Christmas.

Thomas Jefferson was the most prominent of the five authors of the Declaration of Independence. He studied at the College of William and Mary (website here), in Williamsburg in Virginia, from March 1760-1767.  1776 was the ultimate outworking of the British colonists' desire for their full liberties as defined in law – on both sides of the Atlantic – by the Glorious Revolution in 1688, 1689 and 1691. The two Declarations use remarkably similar introductory vocabulary, and structure. Perhaps Jefferson and co knew that, when King George III saw it, he would realise instantly that it mirrored the prior Declaration of William, on which the British monarchy was founded. 

Back in 1772 the renowned writer ‘Junius’ had already reminded, and warned, King George III by invoking the 1688 Revolution in a letter in the Public Advertiser newspaper in London:

“…The people of England are loyal to the house of Hanover, not from a vain preference of one family to another, but from a conviction that the establishment of that family was necessary to the support of their civil and religious liberties … The name of Stuart by itself is only contemptible; armed with the sovereign authority their principles are formidable. The prince who imitates their conduct should be warned by their example; and while he plumes himself upon the security of his title to the crown, should remember that, as it was acquired by one revolution it may be lost by another.

Jefferson's first personal library at his mother's home at Shadwell outside Charlottesville, Virginia, had burned down in February 1770. There are only partial records of what he had there, which include William Robertson's History of Scotland During the Reigns of Queen Mary and of King James VI and also the plays of Londonderry born playwright George Farquhar, and various volumes by John Locke.

Six years after the devastating fire Jefferson was polishing the historic prose of the final version of the Declaration of Independence which he then handed to Ulsterman Charles Thomson to sign off, who then took it to Ulsterman John Dunlap to be printed.

More to follow....

A round table, fit for an aspiring King to hold his first Parliament.

Below: Michael Barone's book, connecting 1688 and 1776, also made the trip with me.

Below: Sir Edward Seymour's Berry Pomeroy Castle today, owned by English Heritage.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Another set of 'Resolves' - The Tryon Association/Resolves - Lincoln County, North Carolina, 14 August 1775

(this is from Historyman on LinkedIn)

The Tryon Association/Resolves was yet another document of the sentiments of the people prior to the Declaration of Independence. On August 14, 1775, the leading men in present-day Lincoln county, NC, penned a decree and signed their names at hazard to themselves and their fortunes.

An Association.
The unprecedented, barbarous and bloody actions committed by the British Troops on our American Brethren near Boston on the 19th of April & 20th of May last, together with the Hostile operations & Traiterous Designs now Carrying on by the Tools of Ministerial Vengeance & Despotism for the Subjugating all British America, suggest to us the painful necessity of having recourse to Arms for the preservation of those Rights & Liberties which the principles of our Constitution and the Laws of God, Nature, and Nations have made it our duty to defend.

We therefore, the Subscribers Freeholders & Inhabitants of Tryon County, do hereby faithfully unite ourselves under the most sacred ties of Religion, Honor & Love to Our Country, firmly to Resist force by force in defence of our Natural Freedom & Constitutional Rights against all Invasions, & at the same time do solemnly engage to take up Arms and Risque our lives and fortunes in maintaining the Freedom of our Country, whenever the Wisdom & Council of the Continental Congress or our Provincial Convention shall Declare it necessary, & this Engagement we will continue in and hold sacred ’till a Reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America on Constitutional principles which we most ardently desire. And we do firmly agree to hold all such persons Inimical to the liberties of America, who shall refuse to subscribe to this Association.

Resolved, that we will Continue to profess all Loyalty and attachment to our Sovereign Lord King George the Third, His Crown & Dignity, so long as he secures to us those Rights and Liberties which the principles of Our Constitution require.

Resolved, and we do Impower every Captain or other Officer in their Respective Companies to raise sufficient force in order to detain and secure all powder and Lead that may be removing or about to be Removed out of the County; and that they do prevent any of such powder and Lead from being sold or disposed of for private uses; but to be under the direction of this Committee until the Delegates shall return from the provincial Convention; Provided nevertheless that this Resolution is not meant to hinder any persons Inhabitants of other County’s from Carrying powder and Lead through this County to their respective abodes unless there is just Cause to suspect that they Intend such Powder and Lead for Injurious purposes; ...

*Minutes of the Proceedings of Committee Tryon County 1775,” State Archives of North Carolina. A comprehensive study is Kathy Gunter Sullivan, Tryon County Documents 1769-1779: A North Carolina County (Forest City, North Carolina: Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County, 2000).