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Excerpted from "Historical Miscellanea: An Early History of North Carolina," North Carolina Manual, 1991-1992, published biennially by the NC Department of the Secretary of State.

Halifax Resolves

North Carolina, on April 12, 1776, authorized her delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. This was the first official action by a colony calling for independence. The 83 delegates present in Halifax at the Fourth Provincial Congress unanimously adopted the Halifax Resolves, which read as follows:

The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parliament of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this province reported as follows, to wit,

It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan concerted by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrouled and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War Famine and every Species of Calamity daily employed in destroying the People and committing the most horrid devastations on the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people have been destroyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the most Lamentable distress.

And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter into the following Resolve, to wit

Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental Congress be impowered to concur with the other delegates of the other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign Alliances, resolving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a general Representation thereof to meet the delegates of the other Colonies for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out.

Hooper, HewesBW, PennThe Halifax Resolves were important not only because they were the first official action calling for independence, but also because they were not unilateral recommendations. They were instead recommendations directed to all the colonies and their delegates assembled at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Virginia followed with her own recommendations soon after the adoption of the Halifax Resolution, and eventually on July 4, the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed. William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and John Penn were the delegates from North Carolina who signed the Declaration of Independence.


Update from N.C. Government & Heritage Library staff: 
A list of attendees to the Provincial Congress at Halifax in April 1776 can be found in the full-text transcription of the assembly records in the State and Colonial Records of North Carolina, at

References and additional resources:

North Carolina Digital Collections.

LearnNC. n.d. "Revolutionary North Carolina." North Carolina Digital History.


North Carolina. Secretary of State; North Carolina. Legislative Reference Library; North Carolina Historical Commission. North Carolina manual [serial]. [Raleigh]: North Carolina Historical Commission.

Tomberlin, Jason. 2007. "April 1776: The Halifax Resolves," This Month in North Carolina History (April).

WorldCat (Searches numerous library catalogs).

Images Credits:

William Hamilton and George Noble, The Manner in which the American Colonies Declared themselves INDEPENDENT of the King of ENGLAND [detail], 1783. Photo ID: LC-USZ62-11336. From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.




Who were the 83 delegates who signed the Halifax Resolves? Am interested in the ones from North Carolina.


Dear Wendy,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and taking time to share your question.

That’s a great question! For starters, please visit the State and Colonial Records of North Carolina.  Here is a link to a full-text transcribed version beginning with the meeting at Halifax in April of 1776.  You’ll see a list of those who attended with their respective counties --  And I will update the entry with this link showing attendees for future visitors.

I have contacted the Halifax state historic site and have spoken to the site historian to get a bit more information about the resolves document.  Unlike the Declaration of Independence, the Halifax Resolves had no signers. The resolves were unanimously passed by the Colonial Assembly (Provinicial Congress) in the course of business conducted at the gathering in April 1776.  The only signature that appears is that of the assembly clerk, James Green.

I hope this helps!  And I'm sending this information to the email address you left with your post.

Please visit NCpedia again and best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


I talk about the Halifax Resolves every time I give a tour of Independence Hall. This entry will be going in our reference binder in the West Wing (where Dunlap broadsides of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and U.S. Constitution are displayed).


Hi Nicole,

That's fabulous and thanks for sharing this with us!  We're glad to be able to share this content with you.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


so its north carolina's declaration of independence in a way


I think the halifax resolve is the best thing ive ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hi Sheilia,

That's terrific!  We're glad you found something you enjoyed on NCpedia and thanks for taking a minute to let us know. Please visit us again!

Kelly Agan, NCpedia Digital Publishing Librarian, Government & Heritage Library


okayso i need help on the halfax rloves

Comment Response:

Thank you for your inquiry in NCpedia about the Halifax Resolves. Here are some additional resources about the Halifax Resolves in NCpedia: Reasons behind the Revolutionary War; Halifax County; Halifax; Resolves, Prerevolutionary. Also, be sure to check out the links under "References and Additional Resources" on this entry.  I am also forwarding your request to Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library. Their direct email address is Additional contact information may be found for them at Good luck in your research!

Emily Horton, Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina

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