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ABOUT North Charlotte
The Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County (in the Charlotte area) and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records. By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from smallpox, which was endemic among Europeans, because the Catawba had not acquired immunity to the new disease. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, but by 1826 their total population had dropped to 110.
The European-American city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding European population in the backcountry. German immigrants also settled the area before the American Revolutionary War, but in much smaller numbers. They still contributed greatly to the early foundations of the region.
Mecklenburg County was initially part of Bath County (1696 to 1729) of New Hanover Precinct, which became New Hanover County in 1729. The western portion of New Hanover split into Bladen County in 1734, its western portion splitting into Anson County in 1750. Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762. Further apportionment was made in 1792, after the American Revolutionary War, with Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg.
In 1842, Union County formed from Mecklenburg's southeastern portion and a western portion of Anson County. These areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the Salisbury District.
The area that is now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood. Thomas Polk (granduncle of U.S. President James K. Polk), who later married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path ran north–south and was part of the Great Wagon Road; the second path ran east–west along what is now Trade Street.
Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents. He wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest".
Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become the Town of Charlotte, incorporating in 1768. Though chartered as Charlotte, the name appears as a form of "Charlottesburgh" on many maps until around 1800. A form of "Charlottetown" also appears on maps of British origin depicting General Cornwallis' route of invasion. The crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of Uptown Charlotte. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development. The east–west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon", or simply "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square".
While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs".
Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that eventually led to the American Revolution. May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's state flag and state seal also bear the date.
Charlotte is traditionally considered the home of Southern Presbyterianism, but in the 19th century, numerous churches, including Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic formed, eventually giving Charlotte the nickname, "The City of Churches".
In 1799, in nearby Cabarrus County, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17- pound rock, which his family used as a doorstop. Three years later, a jeweler determined it was nearly solid gold, paying the family a paltry $3.50. The first documented gold find in the United States of any consequence set off the nation's first gold rush. Many veins of gold were found in the area throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to the 1837 founding of the Charlotte Mint. North Carolina was the chief producer of gold in the United States until the Sierra Nevada find in 1848, although the volume mined in the Charlotte area was dwarfed by subsequent rushes.
Some groups still pan for gold occasionally in local streams and creeks. The Reed Gold Mine operated until 1912. The Charlotte Mint was active until 1861, when Confederate forces seized it at the outbreak of the Civil War. The mint was not reopened at the war's end, but the building, albeit in a different location, now houses the Mint Museum of Art.
The city's first boom came after the Civil War, as a cotton processing center and a railroad hub. Charlotte's city population at the 1880 Census grew to 7,084.
In 1910, Charlotte surpassed Wilmington to become North Carolina's largest city.
The population grew again during World War I, when the U.S. government established Camp Greene, north of present-day Wilkinson Boulevard. Many soldiers and suppliers stayed after the war, launching urbanization that eventually overtook older cities along the Piedmont Crescent. In the 1920 census, Charlotte was only the state's second largest city, Winston-Salem having 48,395, two thousand more people than Charlotte. Charlotte overtook it several years later.
The city's modern-day banking industry achieved prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, largely under the leadership of financier Hugh McColl. McColl transformed North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) into a formidable national bank that through aggressive acquisitions eventually merged with BankAmerica to become Bank of America. First Union, later Wachovia in 2001, experienced similar growth before it was acquired by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo in 2008. Measured by control of assets, Charlotte became the second largest banking headquarters in the United States after New York City.
On September 22, 1989, the city was hit by Hurricane Hugo. With sustained winds of 69 mph (111 km/h) and gusts of 87 mph (140 km/h), Hugo caused massive property damage, destroyed 80,000 trees, and knocked out electrical power to most of the population. Residents were without power for weeks, schools were closed for a week or more, and the cleanup took months. The city was caught unprepared; Charlotte is 200 miles (320 km) inland, and residents from coastal areas in both Carolinas often wait out hurricanes in Charlotte.
In December 2002, Charlotte and much of central North Carolina were hit by an ice storm that resulted in more than 1.3 million people losing power. During an abnormally cold December, many were without power for weeks. Many of the city's Bradford pear trees split apart under the weight of the ice.
In August 2015 and September 2016, the city experienced several days of protests related to the police shootings of Jonathan Ferrell and Keith Scott.
The most recent U.S. Census estimate (2019, released in May 2020) showed 885,708 residents living within Charlotte's city limits and 1,093,901 in Mecklenburg County. The combined statistical area, or trade area, of Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia, NC–SC had a population of 2,728,933. Figures from the more comprehensive 2010 census show Charlotte's population density to be 2,457 per square mile (948.7/km2). There were 319,918 housing units at an average density of 1,074.6 per square mile (414.9/km2).
According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Charlotte was 45.1% White or Caucasian, 35.0% Black or African American, 13.1% Hispanic or Latin American, 5.0% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 6.8% some other race, and 2.7% two or more races.
In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Charlotte's population as 30.2% Black and 68.9% White.
The median income for a household in the city was $48,670, and the median income for a family was $59,452. Males had a median income of $38,767 versus $29,218 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,825. The percentage of the population living at or below the poverty line was 10.6%, with 7.8% of families living at or below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Charlotte has historically been a Protestant city. It is the birthplace of Billy Graham, and is also the historic seat of Southern Presbyterianism, but the changing demographics of the city's increasing population have brought scores of new denominations and faiths. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Wycliffe Bible Translators' JAARS Center, SIM Missions Organization, and The Christian Research Institute make their homes in the Charlotte general area. In total, Charlotte proper has over 700 places of worship.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is now the fourth largest denomination in Charlotte, with 68,000 members and 206 congregations. The second largest Presbyterian denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America has 43 churches and 12,000 members, followed by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church with 63 churches and 9,500 members.
The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America is headquartered in Charlotte, and both Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary have campuses there; more recently, the religious studies academic departments of Charlotte's local colleges and universities have also grown considerably.
The Advent Christian Church is headquartered in Charlotte. The Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is also headquartered in Charlotte.
The largest Protestant church in Charlotte, by attendance, is Elevation Church, a Southern Baptist church founded by lead pastor Steven Furtick. The church has over 15,000 congregants at nine Charlotte locations.
Charlotte's Cathedral of Saint Patrick is the seat of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. The Traditional Latin Mass is offered by the Society of St. Pius X at St. Anthony Catholic Church in nearby Mount Holly. The Traditional Latin Mass is also offered at St. Ann, Charlotte, a church under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Charlotte. St. Matthew Parish, located in the Ballantyne neighborhood, is the largest Catholic parish with over 30,000 parishioners. The Greek Orthodox Church's cathedral for North Carolina, Holy Trinity Cathedral, is located in Charlotte.
Charlotte has the largest Jewish population in the Carolinas. Shalom Park in south Charlotte is the hub of the Jewish community, featuring two synagogues, Temple Israel and Temple Beth El, as well as a community center, the Charlotte Jewish Day School for grades K–5, and the headquarters of the Charlotte Jewish News.
Most African Americans in Charlotte are Baptists affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, the largest predominantly African American denomination in the United States. African American Methodists are largely affiliated with either the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, headquartered in Charlotte, or the African Methodist Episcopal Church. African American Pentecostals are represented by several organizations such as the United House of Prayer for All People, Church of God in Christ, and the United Holy Church of America.
As of 2013, 51.91% of people in Charlotte practice religion on a regular basis, making it the second most religious city in North Carolina after Winston-Salem. The largest religion in Charlotte is Christianity, with Baptists (13.26%) having the largest number of adherents. The second largest Christian group are the Roman Catholics (9.43%), followed by Methodists (8.02%) and Presbyterians (5.25%). Other Christian affiliates include Pentecostals (2.50%), Lutherans (1.30%), Episcopalians (1.20%), Latter-Day Saints (0.84%), and other Christian (8.87%) churches, including the Eastern Orthodox and non-denominational congregations. Judaism (0.57%) is the second largest religion after Christianity, followed by Eastern religions (0.34%) and Islam (0.32%).
About North Carolina
North Carolina, also referred to as The Great Coastal State, is a crucial state within the South Eastern United States Region. North Carolina is the southern most state in the Southeastern U.S. North Carolina is also the ninth-most populous and fourth-largest state of the fifty United States. It is bounded by Virginia to the southwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, Georgia to the northwest, South Carolina to the northwest, and Tennessee to the southeast. In terms of population, North Carolina ranks eighteenth among the fifty states and the second most populous in the United States, after California.
North Carolina's economic growth has led to significant changes over time. For example, in 1998, employment growth was 3.5 percent, far outpacing the national average of only two percent. The fastest growing metropolitan areas in North Carolina are Charlotte, which is the state capital; Raleigh, which are the state's largest city; and Raleigh-Crestview-Reston, which are the state's largest county. As a result of these trends, North Carolina's unemployment rate is much lower than that of most other states. Unemployment is low in North Carolina because of a combination of migration, business improvements, high numbers of tourists, and an overall aging population. As more people of retirement age begin to come to North Carolina, the demand for jobs in this booming economy will increase the demand for qualified labor.
Business improvements have contributed to North Carolina's economic prosperity. As the textile and shoe industries have grown in popularity in recent years, employment in these industries has increased in response. In addition, as more people commute to work in Charlotte and Raleigh, the number of traffic jams and rush hour traffic in this area is less than other major cities. As a result, people can get to work without spending extra time driving in gridlock. As a result, the unemployment rate in north Carolina is slightly below the national average.
One of the reasons why it is easy to find employment in Charlotte and Raleigh is that Charlotte is located in one of the fastest growing regions of the country. Because of rapid population growth, it is home to one of the largest concentrations of people of any city in the country. This means there are plenty of job opportunities in North Carolina. In fact, according to an analysis by the Economic Research Service of North Carolina, Charlotte is the top city in the state to work because of its economic growth, transportation accessibility, and quality of life.
As a result of these factors, it is easy to see why the unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average in North Carolina. However, Charlotte offers so much more for those looking to work. For example, compared to a national average of 4 percent, the unemployment rate in Charlotte is only slightly higher in Charlotte. Charlotte is home to some of the most competitive businesses in the world. In addition, there are a number of well-known universities in the area. Therefore, families can visit Charlotte without having to worry about commuting or finding a job.
In addition to seeing why it is easier to find employment in Charlotte, families can also experience great family fun while living in the area. According to Visit Raleigh, a study conducted by the University of North Carolina draws more than two million visitors to its beaches each year. Additionally, according to figures from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, over thirty thousand new jobs are created in the state of north Carolina every month. These numbers indicate how popular and desirable Charlotte and its neighboring cities are to local businesses and residents.
Another reason why it is easy to find employment in Charlotte is that it is close to some of America's premier education institutions. At Wake Forest University, for example, those wishing to pursue a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing can find a full time position right on campus. Wake Forest University offers an array of student benefits, including childcare. Other private universities and colleges in north Carolina make sure that their graduates are able to find work as well. For example, Furman University offers healthcare degrees, as does KUBC - North Carolina's public television station.
In order to take advantage of all that's available to those living in Charlotte, it is smart to do a little research. As previously mentioned, Visit Raleigh and other online sources to draw millions of visitors per year. Businesses, such as Davidson College and Wake Forest University, are not immune to this high demand. Therefore, if you are interested in starting a new business or have recently left one, you will want to take a close look at the current job market in north Carolina.