The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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they were suppressed at the battle of Ramsour's Mill.

        He died in 1790, aged 70, and is buried in Sharon Graveyard.

        Hezekiah Alexander was also a member. He was more of a statesman than a soldier. He was born in 1728, in Pennsylvania. By the Provincial Congress at Hillsboro, (21st of August, 1775) he was appointed with Griffith Rutherford, John Brevard, Benjamin Patton, and others, a Committee of Safety for the Salisbury District. In April, 1776, with William Sharp he was appointed on the Council of Safety. In April, 1776, he was appointed Paymaster of the Fourth Regiment North Carolina Continentals, of which Regiment Thomas Polk was Colonel, James Thackston Lieutenant Colonel, and William Davidson Cajor. In November, 1776, he was elected a member of the Provincial Congress from Mecklenburg county, with Waighstill Avery, Robert Irwin, John Phifer and Zaccheus Wilson as colleagues, which Assembly formed the first Constitution of the State. He died and was buried in Sugar Creek Churchyard.*

        * Called from a creek on which it is built, named by the Indians Suga, or rather, Sooga Creek.

The head-stone placed over his grave has the following:

                         "IN MEMORY
                         HEZEKIAH ALEXANDER,
                         Who departed this life July 18th, 1801."

        John McKnitt Alexander was one of the members in this celebrated Convention. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1733, and when twenty-one years of age came to North Carolina. He was elected to Provincial Assembly in 1772; also as a Delegate to Hillsboro on the 21st of August, 1775; at Halifax in April, 1776. As we have stated, he was an active participator in the Convention of May 19th and 20th, 1775, and preserved for 25 years the record of this proud event, and sent copies thereof to General William R. Davie, Dr. Hugh Williamson and others. The original was consumed by fire in 1800, when Mr. Alexander's house was burned. He was the first Senator elected under the Constitution from Mecklenburg county. Waighstill Avery and Martin Phifer were his colleagues in the Commons.

        Robert D. Graham, Esq., a member of the Charlotte Bar, whose researches have shed much light upon the details of the organization, and the several manuscripts of the Independent Committee of Mecklenburg, writes of John McKnitt Alexander as follows:

        "He was a man of great versatility of talent; thorough and successful in whatever he undertook. Put to the trade of a tailor when a boy, he soon became widely known among his cotemporaries as a surveyor, and long after the war, was often a witness in land suits in the western counties. He was an elder in his church, and also Treasurer of the synod of the two Carolinas, a member of the Royal, and after the 20th, of the Independent County Court, and several times a delegate in the Provincial Congress. His paper of the 19th of May marks him as a statesman of the first order. His advanced sentiments of patriotism were acknowledged by making him a secretary of the convention of delegates of "the citizens of Mecklenburg county"--two from each militia company--which met on May 19, 1775, resolved upon independence, and on the next day, made "a more formal declaration" from the old court house steps, together with "a long string of grievances," "a military order for purchasing ordnance stores" and "by-laws."

        At the same time they also formed a County Committee--which does not appear to have been previously done, in propria forma; although the leading spirits were on the alert, and had had frequent meetings at Queen's Museum--whose duty defined in the last paragraph of the Declaration, was as "Justices of the Peace in the character of committee-men, to
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