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David Fleming discusses the wild story around the MecDec in his new book 'Who's Your Founding Father?'

David Fleming
Photo by Monica Galloway
Handout art
David Fleming

In 1819, John Adams was reading a newspaper in Massachusetts when he learned something that threatened to shake up his understanding of our country's founding.

The article in the Essex Register described the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The document was signed on May 20, 1775, making the group of people who signed it the first to divorce themselves from England. It came over a year before the more famous Declaration of Independence. Even more, some suspect Thomas Jefferson plagiarized parts of the MecDec when he wrote that other declaration.

Several historians and former U.S. presidents believe the MecDec should be more thoroughly investigated and that’s precisely what David Fleming set out to do in his new book. In “Who's Your Founding Father?: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence,” Fleming explores cemeteries, a cast of characters, and even a Dunkin’ to get at the truth.

On the next Charlotte Talks, guest host Erik Spanberg is joined by Fleming to discuss the book, what he learned and what he thinks the country should know about the MecDec.


David Fleming, author of “Who's Your Founding Father?: One Man’s Epic Quest to Uncover the First, True Declaration of Independence”

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Gabe Altieri is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.