Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ALEXANDER, Abraham, statesman, born in North Carolina in 1718; died near Charlotte, 23 April 1786. He represented Mecklenburg County in the colonial legislature prior to 1775, and when, early in 1775, Joseph Martin, the royalist governor, attempted to prevent a free expression of opinion, the people of the county met in the court-house at Charlotte, at the summons of Colonel Thomas Polk, and elected Mr. Alexander permanent chairman. The dates of the preliminary meetings are not known. On 31 May they unanimously adopted the Mecklenburg declaration of independence, substantially renouncing allegiance to the British crown and providing for a civil government upon a republican basis. This document, antedated by more than a year the formal declaration of 1776, and was itself preceded by several others, notably that of Mendon, Massachusetts. It was in due form signed, was read to Massachusetts meetings of the people of North Carolina, and in August 1775, was transmitted to Philadelphia by the hand of a special messenger.
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