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Antebellum Days 1820-1852

Revolutionary War Veterans

In 1841, the Federal Government published A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services, giving the names, ages, and places of residence of persons entitled to pensions on the basis of their service in the Revolutionary War or other conflicts. The list included 22 names for Mecklenburg County. (Mecklenburg in 1841 still included the territory that in 1842 would become part of Union County.) The names are given below:

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1841 - Public Education

<p>North Carolina received 1.5 million in surplus U.S. government funds. This money would be&nbsp;used to start the state&#39;s public school fund. On this date, the&nbsp;<em>Mecklenburg Jeffersonian</em>&nbsp;reported that the school board, formed that year, had divided Mecklenburg County into&nbsp;76&nbsp;school districts. Once school buildings were located in each, the county would be entitled to draw her quota of money.</p>

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1825 - Charlotte, Mining Town

Samuel McComb finds gold at Irwin Creek, near what will be the intersection of West Morehead and Graham streets one day. He is the first to follow a deposit called a vein of gold. Other Charlotteans are now hunting in streams and hillsides for the precious metal, hurrying through their daily chores so they can devote hours to a pastime that will make some of them rich.

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1834 - First Bank

The First Charlotte Bank opens. But not everyone in Mecklenburg needs a bank. During the first 50 years of U.S. history, settlers in the rough wilderness, or backcountry, have had little use for money. Many people trade for what their families need. A lucky few have discovered gold on their land.

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1842 - Union County

Ever since Mecklenburg was created from Anson County in 1762, the two have shared a border. Now, that border changes. Union County is created by joining a southeastern section of Mecklenburg and a western section of neighboring Anson counties.

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1826 - The Southern Economy

Slave markets in Mecklenburg County are held twice each year. The highest price paid for a slave this year is $568. While many labor as farm-hands under back-breaking conditions on plantations throughout the South, some others are taught skills. Men who learn woodworking, black-smithing, and masonry -- and women who become seamstresses or cooks -- become indispensable to the plantation household and the South's economy.

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1835 - States' Rights

North Carolina's legislature passes a law proclaiming that states have the right to regulate slavery, not the federal government. But this decision is just part of a growing conflict within and among the states. By 1848, this issue will dominate and determine the outcome of presidential elections.

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1843 - Business at the Mint

June 15, 1843 - Green Washington Caldwell is appointed superintendent of Charlotte's Mint. This doctor, former congressman and lawyer is well acquainted with the business of manufacturing coins. He is married to Jane McComb, whose father, Samuel, began one of Charlotte's first gold mines.

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1826 - Private Education

The Charlotte Male Academy opens to instruct pupils in Classical subjects, such as Latin and Greek. Young women who attend the new Charlotte Female Academy, which opened one year ago, have new course offerings for this year. They can study astronomy, chemistry, ethics and history. Until now, most young women were schooled, if at all, in piano, painting and embroidery.

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1835 - Native Questions

Members of the Southern Indian tribes argue among themselves. Should the tribes sell land to the U.S. government? How much should they demand in return? What will happen if the Indians lose their tribal homeland? How will the tribes survive? There will be no easy answers to these questions.

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