North Carolina Advocated Independence

On April 12, 1776, North Carolina's Provincial Congress authorized its delegates to the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence.

The first formal call for American sovereignty, the "Halifax Resolves" not only guided North Carolina representatives, but also encouraged the Continental Congress to champion independence. Virginia directed its delegates to submit a resolution for independence. Richard Henry Lee introduced such a resolution on June 7, 1776, stating that the colonies "are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."

The "Halifax Resolves," like the later Declaration of Independence, carefully delineated grievances against the mother country. By highlighting misdeeds perpetrated by the Crown, the colonists justified severing the relationship between themselves and Great Britain. Both the "Halifax Resolves" and the Declaration of Independence demonstrate the radical nature of the move toward independence.

The second congress also met at New Bern from April 3-7, 1775. John Harvey once again served as moderator. The congress met at the same place and almost the same time as the colonial assembly, and had almost the exact same membership. This infuriated royal governor Josiah Martin, who dissolved the assembly on April 8 and never called another.