At the time of Charlotte’s founding all the way back in 1768, there was a large group of people in this area called “loyalists,” colonists who didn’t necessarily want to separate and remained loyal to the British Crown. A large group had settled in this area since it was the intersection of two Native American trading paths. (This is now the intersection of Trade and Tryon, right in the middle of Charlotte’s Uptown).
There was a large enough group that they needed to build a courthouse and name the town. In an attempt to stay in King George III’s good graces, and keep a continuous supply of money, men, food, and more coming, they named the town “Charlotte Town” after his brand new wife, Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. That’s where the city’s name, nickname, and the name of its home country all originate.
Despite the efforts of the Loyalists, Charlotte wouldn’t find the king’s favor. In fact, the city would soon find itself in the middle of the American Revolution. When the residents of this town learned about the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, they drafted what is now known as The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, or the Mecklenburg Resolves.
Charlotte has a rich history steeped in the discovery of gold and the pride of Scots-Irish settlers. Unfortunately, we’re not too quick to embrace the past we have. Old buildings frequently give way to shining banks, and history is relegated to a small plaque. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer to Charlotte, take the time to learn a little about the city you’re in. You might just find out that this city has a whole lot more history than you realize!
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