Charlotte Resolves (February 4, 1833)


In what came to be known as the Charlotte Resolves, delivered to and approved by a gathering of men at Charlotte Court House on February 4, 1833, these eleven resolves assert Virginia’s sovereignty and the corruption of President Andrew Jackson’s administration. Presented by John Randolph of Roanoke, they were written by Randolph’s half-brother, Beverley Tucker.


1. Resolved, That while we retain a grateful sense of the many great and valuable services rendered by Andrew Jackson, Esquire, to the United States, we owe it to our country, and to our posterity to make our solemn protest against many of the doctrines of his late proclamation.

2. Resolved, That Virginia “is and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent State,” that she became so by her own separate act, which has been since recognized, by all the civilized world, and has never been disavowed, retracted, or in any way impaired or weakened by any subsequent act of hers.

3. Resolved, That when, for purposes of common defence and common welfare, Virginia entered into a strict league of amity and alliance with the other twelve Colonies of British North America, she parted with no portion of her sovereignty, although, from the necessity of the case, the authority to enforce obedience thereto, was, in certain cases, and for certain purposes, delegated to the common agents of the whole confederacy.

4. Resolved, That Virginia has never parted with the right to recall the authority so delegated, for good and sufficient cause, nor with the right to judge the insufficiency of such cause, and to secede from the confederacy whenever she shall find the benefits of union exceeded by its evils, union being the means of securing liberty and happiness, and not an end to which they should be sacrificed.

5. Resolved, That the allegiance of the people of Virginia is due to her—that to her this obedience is due, while to them she owes protection against all the consequences of such obedience.

6. Resolved, That we have seen with deep regret, that Andrew Jackson, Esquire, President of the United States, has been influenced by designing counsellors, to subserve the purposes of their own guilty ambition, to disavow the principles to which he owed his elevation to the Chief Magistracy of the Government of the United States, and to transfer his real friends and supporters, bound band and foot, to the tender mercies of his and their bitterest enemies, the ultra federalists—ultra bank—ultra tariff—ultra internal improvements, and Hartford Convention men—the habitual scoffers at State rights, and to their instrument, the venal and prostituted press, by which they have endeavored, and but too successfully, to influence and mislead public opinion.

7. Resolved, That Virginia will be found her own worst enemy, whenever she consents to number among her friends, those who are never true to themselves, but when they are false to their country.

8. Resolved, That we owe to justice, while denouncing this portentous combination between General Jackson and the late unhallowed coalition of his and our enemies, to acquit them of any dereliction of principles, and to acknowledge they have but acted in their vocation.

9. Resolved, That we cannot consent to adopt principles which we have always disavowed, merely because they have been adopted by the President, and although we believe that we shall be in a lean and proscribed minority, we are prepared again to take up our cross, confident of success under that banner, so long as we keep faith, and can have access to the public ear.

10. Resolved, That while we utterly reprobate the doctrine of nullification as equally weak and mischievous, we cannot for that reason give our countenance to principles equally unfounded and in the highest degree dangerous to the liberties of the people.

11. Resolved, That we highly approve of the mission of Benjamin Watkins Leigh, not only as in itself expedient and judicious, but as uniting upon the man the best qualified, whether for abilities, integrity and principles, moral and political, beyond all others in the Commonwealth, or in the United States, for the high, arduous, and delicate task which has been devolved upon him by the unanimous suffrage of the assembly, and as we believe of the people, and which he alone is perhaps capable, from all these considerations united in his person, of discharging with success, and restoring this confederate republic to its former harmony and union.


“An Essay on the Moral and Political Effect of the Relation between the Caucasian Master and the African Slave” by Beverley Tucker (1844) “From Missouri, Extract of a late letter from this interesting country to a Virginian,” Richmond Enquirer” (December 11, 1819) “A Note to Blackstone’s Commentaries” by Beverley Tucker (January 1835) “A Note to Blackstone’s Commentaries” by Beverley Tucker (January 1835)

APA Citation:
Tucker, Beverley & Davis, Aaron. Charlotte Resolves (February 4, 1833). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Tucker, Beverley, and Aaron Davis. "Charlotte Resolves (February 4, 1833)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 18 May. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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