Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/346
340 Southern Historical Society Papers.
renewed confidence and mutual regard, just one short lustrum of seven years before " the Colossus of the Revolution " and the author of the Declaration of Independence united to celebrate together on the 4th of July, 1826, by their joint exit from the life of this world and their joint entrance upon the life to come, the semi-centennial anniversary of American Independence.
I looked over Peter Force's American Archives, and turned a page or two of your own State records.
And I found time to read the paper of the all-accomplished Presi- dent Welling, of the Columbian University, at Washington, uphold- ing as your highest pride the resolves of May 3ist.
I was looking to see what emerged from all that dust.
If you will pardon the words of an old song, I was looking to see what " nobody can deny."
And in a discussion of the Mecklenburg Resolves of the eleventh day after the 2Oth May, I stumbled upon the words "Virtual Inde- pendence."
What, then, if you gentlemen of North Carolina please, what, then, would actual independence be?
I appeal to the text.
" All commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the crown to be exercised in these colonies are null and void, and the constitution of each particular colony wholly suspended."
" The provincial congress of each province under the direction of the great Continental Congress invested with all legislative and executive powers within their respective provinces, and that no other legislative or executive power does or can exist at this time in any of these colonies."
Such was the large, strict logical derivation from the wrong of Parliament; then follows, what?
A temporary grant of power by the inhabitants of this county, to be held and exercised by virtue of their choice.
Is that all ? No " shall hold and exercise their several powers by virtue of the choice, and independent of the crown of Great Britain and former constitution of this province."
The exercise of old or new commissions from the crown to mark an enemy of his country.
Preservation of the peace and administration of justice provided for and the tenure of their office who bore the purse or sat in judg- ment to be " during the pleasure of their several constituents."