A Toast to Cornelius Harnett
Samuel D. Hummel
To Cornelius Harnett,
Who served his fellow man with civility and respect.
Who took the 1765 Stamp Act opposition to the Royal Governor’s steps
And became the “PRIDE OF THE CAPE FEAR.”
Who lead the North Carolina Committee of Safety
And became the “SAMUEL ADAMS OF NORTH CAROLINA.”
Who was the first unelected Chief Executive Officer of the State
Before the State Constitution provided for elections.
Who was chairman of the committee that produced the Halifax Resolves
On April 12, 1776, supporting a vote in Congress for Independence.
Who was asked to be the first person to publicly read the Declaration of Independence
To the people of North Carolina.
Who served without concern for his own comfort or safety
For three terms in the 2nd Continental Congress.
Who was proscribed by King George to be an unpardonable rebel
Which was a death sentence if captured.
Who was at the top of the list to be taken into captivity
When the British army invaded Wilmington on January 27, 1781.
Who was captured and brutally thrown over the saddle of a horse
To be paraded through the streets of Wilmington.
Who was placed in an uncovered block house during winter
And who, in a sickened condition, was released to die.
To CORNELIUS HARNETT, a man who we must never forget.