north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     The historic Hezekiah Alexander House at the Charlotte Museum of History stands as not only one of the best preserved pre-Revolutionary structures in the state, but as perhaps the only remaining house of a signer of the 1776 state constitution. Planter, statesman, and patriot Hezekiah Alexander (1728-1801) built the house in 1774 and, for the rest of his life, the house served as the focal point for the Alexander plantation. Alexander had thirteen slaves in 1790 and added four more in 1791. The house is one of only two complete stone structures of the period in the state, and is similar to the German architecture common in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

     Hezekiah Alexander was born in 1728 to James and Margaret Alexander. In his youth Hezekiah apprenticed as a blacksmith, and, at the age of twenty-three, moved to what is now Franklin (originally Cumberland) County, Pennsylvania. Alexander was in Pennsylvania as late as 1767. While there, he married Mary Sample. In time he and his family moved to Mecklenburg County, where he prospered as a planter and quickly rose in social and political circles.

     Governor William Tryon named Alexander a county magistrate in 1768, and the planter soon joined Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church. As an influential member of Mecklenburg society, Alexander later supported the Patriot cause during the Revolution, achieved the rank of lieutenant as a commissary in the Continental Army, and later helped to draft the state constitution. After the war, he served as a magistrate in Mecklenburg until 1794, and died seven years later at his home in Charlotte.

     The spacious design of the Alexander House reflects the influence the planter and patriot had in the community in 1774, when the structure was completed. Stone arches re-enforce the structure above the doors and windows, and a wooden stairway leads to the front entrance. Distinguishing the house and surrounding structures are the authentic restoration efforts by volunteers during the twentieth century. The Daughters of the American Revolution donated funds for initial restoration in 1949, while archaeological surveys began during the 1970s to provide contextual information concerning the house and its former inhabitants. As a result, the site now includes a reconstructed log kitchen and springhouse, both in close proximity to the house. The springhouse, made of stone, incorporates parts of the original walls.

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 14-15—sketch by Norris W. Preyer
Charlotte Museum of History Website:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission website:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources