Liberty Point Resolves
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.
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.
- "Association adopted and signed by the Committees of the District of Wilmington, in North-Carolina". American Archives Series 4, Volume 2, p. 1030, published online by the Northern Illinois University Libraries.
- "Liberty Point Resolves return to Fayetteville". The Fayetteville Observer, July 22, 2008. Accessed on August 3, 2008.