Category:
Eighteenth Century

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence



An honest mistaken memory, or a deliberate hoax to cash in on the early glamour of the American Revolution? You decide!

The Wikipedia page.

History Channel account.


The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is a text published in 1819 with the claim that it was the first declaration of independence made in the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution. It was supposedly signed on May 20, 1775, in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a committee of citizens of Mecklenburg County, who declared independence from Great Britain after hearing of the battle of Lexington. If the story is true, the Mecklenburg Declaration preceded the United States Declaration of Independence by more than a year. The authenticity of the Mecklenburg Declaration has been disputed since it was published, forty-four years after it was reputedly written. There is no verifiable evidence to confirm the original document's existence and no reference to it has been found in extant newspapers from 1775.[citation needed]

Professional historians have maintained that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is an inaccurate rendering of an authentic document known as the Mecklenburg Resolves. The Mecklenburg Resolves were a set of radical resolutions passed on May 31, 1775, that fell short of an actual declaration of independence. Although published in newspapers in 1775, the text of the Mecklenburg Resolves was lost after the American Revolution and not rediscovered until 1838. Historians believe that the Mecklenburg Declaration was written in 1800 in an attempt to recreate the Mecklenburg Resolves from memory. According to this theory, the author of the Mecklenburg Declaration mistakenly believed that the Resolves had been a declaration of independence, and so he recreated the Resolves with language borrowed from the United States Declaration of Independence. Defenders of the Mecklenburg Declaration have argued that both the Mecklenburg Declaration and the Mecklenburg Resolves are authentic.


Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 12, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Antiques, Anachronisms and Throwbacks, Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Government, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Politics, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century

Why a Monkey on the Leinster Coat of Arms?



"The coat of arms of the Dukes of Leinster derives from the legend that John FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare, as a baby in Woodstock Castle, was trapped in a fire when a pet monkey rescued him. The FitzGeralds then adopted a monkey as their crest (and later supporters) and occasionally use the additional motto Non immemor beneficii (Not forgetful of a helping hand)."

The Wikipedia page.



Article source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 19, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Royalty, Eighteenth Century

Who Was That Masked Lady Composer?



Mlle Duval was an 18th-century female composer whose birth and death dates are unknown, whose first name and backstory are unknown, and yet who had a fairly prominent public career. This is one of those historical incidents that I fancifully attribute to some time traveler having fun.

Her Wikipedia page.

Entry in The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers.

I can't find any recordings for her online, but she appears on the CD at the link.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 05, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, Unexplained Historical Enigmas, Women, Eighteenth Century

Blackguardiana

You can surely amuse yourself for hours reading this 1793 guide to rogues. And I think we should resurrect these old terms for modern times. For instance, if a woman is inconveniently pregnant, let us say she has "sprained her ankle."



Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 18, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Eighteenth Century, Slang

The Anatomical Venus

image

This new book about the "Anatomical Venus" looks to be fascinatingly weird. Lots more photos at the link.





Posted By: Paul - Sat May 21, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Body, Surgery, Women, Eighteenth Century

The Coffin of Pero Bannister

I find this anecdote in two sources. True, or apocryphal? You be the judge!

image

1880 text.

image

1937 text.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 29, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Face and Facial Expressions, Head

The Eccentric Club



For over 230 years there has been one or more organizations known as "the Eccentric Club." I think every WU-vie should be a member by birthright.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek account of a party at an NYC branch from 1889.

image

Original article here.

Profile of the current London version.

Present-day USA version.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 11, 2015 - Comments (11)
Category: Eccentrics, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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