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Abraham Alexander (12/9/1717 - 4/23/1786) was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence. The Alexander family is one of the most prolific of any in Mecklenburg County. Abraham descends from Scotch-Irish immigrants who came from Ulster to America. He was born in Maryland, the child of Elias and Sophia Alexander.
Working as a cooper, he married and moved to a more frontier area known as Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Many moving to the area did not realize that Lord Augustus Selwyn already owned most of the land. Many sheriffs were asked to come and obtain deeds and money from these settlers, but bodily threat and harm was promised. Alexander felt that the land should be surveyed and deeded, but the settlers turned on him also. Although he later purchased lots of land in Mecklenburg, his home site was at the present site of the Charlotte Country Club. His real estate ventures helped him acquire a nice fortune, plus he was related to many prominent and wealthy citizens.
His age kept him from actively participating in the Revolutionary War, but he did serve on the county's Committee of Safety. One of the rules that many local colonial settlers hated was that a minister of the established church must perform all marriages. Whenever Abraham Alexander reached the Assembly, he sponsored a bill permitting marriages performed by Presbyterian ministers. Governor Tryon signed the bill but it was never approved. Alexander also disapproved of the fact that locally raised grain was being shipped to England and wanted some controls in place. Alexander could also be considered one of the earliest environmentalists in the area. Aware of the importance of fish from the Catawba River as food, he sponsored a bill to protect this important resource.
Abraham served as a trustee of Queen's College and Liberty Hall. He was also a trustee for the establishment of Charlotte as the county seat. He died on 4/23/1786 and is buried at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, where he served as elder and one of the founders of the church.
(1) King, Victor C. Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775. Charlotte, NC, 1956.