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Celebrating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence: All About the Declaration

Signers' Biographies & Signatures

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was supposedly signed by more than twenty-five prominent citizens of Mecklenburg County on May. 20, 1775. These signers came from all walks of life and had a great influence in Charlotte's early history. Find out a bit more about these significant individuals for yourself .

Abraham Alexander
Adam Alexander
Charles Alexander
Ezra Alexander
Hezekiah Alexander
John Alexander
Waightstill Avery
Hezekiah Balch
Richard Barry
Ephraim Brevard
John Davidson
Henry Downs
John Flennekin
John Foard
William Graham
James Harris
Richard Harris
Robert Irwin
William Kennon
Matthew McClure
Neill Morrison
Duncan Ochiltree
Benjamin Patton
John Phifer
Thomas Polk
John Queary
David Reese
Zaccheus Wilson
Waightstill Avery (May 10, 1741-March 13, 1821)

Waightstill Avery, the first attorney general of North Carolina, was born in Groton, Connecticut. He attended Princeton College and later taught at the college.

He then studied law. After completing his training, he moved to North Carolina. He lived in Salisbury and then moved to Charlotte where he boarded with Hezekiah Alexander. He was a resident of Charlotte when he was elected to the provincial assembly.

Avery served on the committee that passed the Mecklenburg Resolves in May of 1775. He served on the provincial council. In 1776 he served on the committee that drew up the first North Carolina constitution. He served from Burke County on the House of Commons from 1782-1785 and 1783 and was elected to the senate in 1796.

Waightstill Avery died at Morganton and is buried in a family graveyard.

Biographical History of North Carolina, Vol. 7, by Samuel A. Ashe, editor. Greensboro, NC: Charles L Van Noppen, 1908, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. I , pp. 66-67, by William S. Powell, editor, University of N.C Press.

Signatures are provided from other historical documents of the era since the original Meck. Dec. document does not exist. (Courtesy of T. Crumbley)