North Carolina was part of the Carolina grant originally awarded by King Charles II of England to the eight Lords Proprietors. The proprietors sold their rights to the crown in 1729, and the colony became a royal province. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, a convention of North Carolinians met in Mecklenburg and drew up a statement called the Mecklenburg Declaration (May 1775), containing phrases closely resembling those of the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The state was one of the original 13 states of the United States, and was the twelfth state to ratify the Federal Constitution.
Charlotte, called the Queen City, is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. The county has a land area of 542 square miles, and the city and county together have a population (in 1995) of over 1 million. The city of Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina.