made him the cherished idol of the nation, and captivated the hearts of admiring millions. He was one of those rare creations of nature, which appear at long intervals to astonish and delight mankind.
No attempt has been made in this sketch to give facts and dates as to General Jackson's career or services, for these are all recorded and here become part of the nation's history, but we opened this sketch to show the claim of our State to this offspring of patriotism and genius. It has been my fortune to see and read of the illustrious men of our own and other times, but no one that I have ever seen or read of, exceeded Andrew Jackson in all those qualities that can adorn or dignify our nature.
Joseph Wilson (born----, died August, 1829), who resided in Charlotte, was distinguished as an advocate and criminal lawyer.
His ancestors on the paternal side were Scotch, and settled in 1730 near Edenton, and in Perquimans county. On the maternal side they were English, and settled on Nantucket Island. His father moved first to Guilford county, North Carolina, and then to Randolph, where he married Eunice Worth. His parents were of the Society of Friends.
His early education was directed by Rev. David Caldwell, and he studied law with Reuben Wood, whose daughter he married. He was licensed to practice law in 1804; he came to the bar at the same time with Israel Pickens. He settled in Stokes county, and by force of his talents, application to his studies, and force of character he soon rose to the uppermost ranks of his profession. He was elected to the Legislature in 1810-'11-'12, and was distinguished as a firm and constant advocate of the war. He was elected the latter year Solicitor of the mountain circuit, then embracing nearly the whole western portion of the State. The unsurpassed ability, fearless zeal, and unflinching courage with which he discharged his duties as Prosecuting Attorney, are still remembered by the people of this section, which was infested by many lawless men, who defied the restraints of justice. He continued in the faithful discharge of these duties until his death. He left several children. One of them--Catharine--married William J. Alexander; Roxanna married Dr. Pinkney Caldwell; another married Marshal Polk.
William Julius Alexander, who married a daughter of Mr. Wilson, was long a resident of Charlotte, born in Salisbury in March, 1797. His early education was conducted by Rev. Dr. Robinson, and he graduated at the University in 1816, in same class with John Y. Mason, (afterwards Attorney General of the United States, Secretary of the Navy and Envoy to France), and others. He studied law with his relative, Archibald Henderson. He settled in Charlotte, and was distinguished as an advocate and politician. He was a member of House of Commons from Mecklenburg county in 1826, re-elected in 1827-28, at which session he was chosen Speaker, and in 1830 he was elected Solicitor of the mountain circuit, made vacant by the death of Mr. Wilson. In 1846 he was appointed Superintendent of the Branch Mint at Charlotte. He died leaving a widow and several children, one of whom, Catherine, married Colonel John F. Hoke, of Lincolnton.
The United States Branch Mint was located at Charlotte, by act of Congress of 1835. It is now used only as an Assay Office and is in charge of Calvin J. Cowles, Esq. Its first superintendent was John H. Wheeler, who was succeeded (in 1841) by Burgess S. Gaither; Greene W. Caldwell, William J. Alexander, and James W. Osborne.
Calvin J. Cowles is now in charge of this institution as Assayer.
Greene W. Caldwell lived and died in this county. He was born April 13, 1811, in Gaston county, near the Tuckasege Ford on the Catawba River. He studied medicine with a
Index - Contents