Sons of Liberty

No 26

February 4, 1997

"1. You are instructed to vote that the late province of North Carolina is, and of right ought to be, a free and independent state invested with all the power of legislation capable of making laws to regulate all its internal policy, subject only in its external connections and foreign commerce to a negative of a continental senate.

"2. You are instructed to vote for the execution of a civil government under the authority of the people for the future security of all the rights, privileges, and prerogatives of the state and the private, natural, and unalienable rights of the constituting members thereof, either as men or Christians. If this should not be confirmed in Congress or Convention, protest.

"3. You are instructed to vote that an equal representation be established, and that the qualifications required to enable any person or persons to have a voice in legislation may not be secured too high but that every freeman who shall be called upon to support government, either in person or property, may be admitted thereto. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.

"4. You are instructed to vote that legislation be not a divided right, and that no man or body of men be invested with a negative on the voice of the people duly collected, and that no honors or dignities be conferred for life or made hereditary on any person or persons either legislative or executive. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.
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"7. You are instructed to move and insist that the people you immediately represent be acknowledged to be a distinct county of this state, as formerly of the late province, with the additional privilege of annually electing their own officers, both civil and military, together with the elections of clerks and sheriffs by the freemen of the same. The choice to be confirmed by the sovereign authority of the state, and the officers so invested to be under the jurisdiction of the state and liable to its cognizance and inflictions in case of malpractice. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.

"8. You are instructed to vote that no chief justice, no secretary of state, no auditor general, no surveyor general, no practicing lawyer, no clerk of any court of record, no sheriff, and no person holding a military office in this state shall be a representative of the people in Congress or Convention. If this should not be confirmed, contend for it.

"9. You are instructed to vote that all claims against the public, except such as accrue upon attendance upon Congress or Convention, be first submitted to the inspection of a committee of nine or more men, inhabitants of the county where said claimant is a resident, and without the approbation of said committee, it shall not be accepted by the public; for which purpose you are to move and insist that a law be enacted to empower the freemen of each county to choose a committee of not less than nine men, of whom none are to be military officers. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.

"10. You are instructed to refuse to enter into any combinations of secrecy as members of Congress or Convention and also to refuse to subscribe any ensnaring tests binding you to an unlimited subjection to the determination of Congress or Convention.
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"12. You are instructed to move and insist that the power of county courts be much more extensive than under the former constitution, both with respect to matters of property and breaches of the peace. If not confirmed, contend for it.

"13. You are instructed to assert and consent to the establishment of the Christian religion as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and more briefly comprised in the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, excluding the 37th Article, together with all the articles excepted, and not to be imposed on dissenters, by the Act of Toleration and clearly held forth in the confession of faith compiled by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, to be the religion of the state to the utter exclusion forever of all and every other (falsely so-called) religion, whether pagan or papal; and that the full, free, and peaceable enjoyment thereof be secured to all and every constituent member of the state as their unalienable right as freemen without the imposition of rites and ceremonies, whether claiming civil or ecclesiastic power for their source; and that a confession and profession of the religion so established shall be necessary in qualifying any person for public trust in the state. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.

"14. You are instructed to oppose to the utmost any particular church or set of clergymen being invested with power to decree rites and ceremonies and to decide in controversies of faith to be submitted to under the influence of penal laws. You are also to oppose the establishment of any mode of worship to be supported to the opposition of the rights of conscience together with the destruction of private property. You are to understand that under modes of worship are comprehended the different forms of swearing by law required. You are, moreover, to oppose the establishing an ecclesiastic supremacy in the sovereign authority of the state. You are to oppose the toleration of the popish idolatrous worship. If this should not be confirmed, protest and remonstrate.

"15. You are instructed to move and insist that not less than four-fifths of the body of which you are members shall in voting be deemed a majority. If this should not be confirmed, contend for it.

"16. You are instructed to give your voices to and for every motion and bill made or brought into the Congress or Convention where they appear to be for public utility and in no ways repugnant to the above instruction.

"17. Gentlemen, the foregoing instructions you are not only to look on as instructions but as charges to which you are desired to take special heed as the general rule of your conduct as our representatives, and we expect you will exert yourselves to the utmost of your ability to obtain the purposes given you in charge. And wherein you fail either in obtaining or opposing, you are hereby ordered to enter your protest against the vote of the Congress or Convention as is pointed out to you in the above instructions.

Instructions for the Delegates of Mecklenburg County Proposed to the Constitution of the Colony, September 1, 1775

As the new confederation was beginning to recognize the necessity to establish forms of government that would not be contrary to their best interests. The recognition of representation was intended to be truly that -- representation. As the provisions of the instructions make clear, those who would carry the message, and the authority of their constituents, would abide by their obligation to their peers.

It is obvious by the above instructions that those who would be served by government were the people, the freeholders of the County. After all, they recognized that government"s primary purpose was to protect people and their property. That self-government was a very large step away from the forms of self-serving government that had become so oppressive on the people and had served so well to provide for so few (special interests, companies and foreigners). Clearly, from this point forward, the will of the people would be the will of the government.

Today, in Washington, D.C., there is talk of campaign finance reform. What they are really saying is, "how can we cover our "posterior", and continue to sell our services to the highest bidder?"

Two hundred years ago, those vested with an interest in the future of the nation, for their own sake and the sake of their posterity, recognized that the governments true purpose would be fulfilled if the elected representatives would represent the interest of the people (not the special interest, foreigner or company). Those people vested in the country were the only ones allowed to vote. It was up to them to determine the outcome of the election -- to select the representative that best represented the majority, and thereby the course of government.

Today, the politician has, the same as in the past, the difficult task of convincing his constituency that he would provide better representation to the will of the people than his opponent. Somehow, however, the game has changed. The dollars that are needed to ascend to Washington, or the state capital, cannot be provided by the contributions of those vested in the country. Instead, the beneficiaries (corporations and foreigners) of the programs and policies of government have provided the means to achieve election, and obligation. The candidates, however, are unwilling to divulge the extent of their obligation to these unwieldy entities. The average voter submits to the system, and accepts the consequences, regardless of how contrary government policies are to the will of the people.

Self-government is of the people. We are the "self", and we should be the beneficiary of every aspect of government -- not indirectly, through "reduced" prices resulting from "tax benefits" garnered by entities that have unknown shareholders, and seemingly unlimited influence in government, rather, directly, so that we might realize those benefits in our every day lives. Instead, we pay, and are told how much we receive as a result of that "tribute".

The solution to the campaign reform matter is as simple as nearly everything else provided for us by the Founders. Let only those who can vote increase their participation in influencing of the outcome of elections. Disallow the entity (corporation and foreigners) beneficiaries the means of stealing, through government, from the people. Let the representatives revert to a 100% reliance on their commitment to us to achieve their re-employment as our representatives. By both our votes and our dollars. Remove all questionable sources (corporations and foreigners) from the equation, and return the obligation of those elected to the those that elect them. It is as simple as, "If it can"t vote, it can"t contribute."

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