Sketches of Charlotte - 1888
Cover of Sketches of Charlotte (1888)
In 1888, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce produced a booklet of text and engraved illustrations: Sketches of Charlotte. Despite the artistic title, this was a work of promotion.
Charlotte is not only the busiest, the most progressive and the most enterprising city in North Carolina, but she is destined to assume the position, in the early future, of the most important commercial and manufacturing center between Atlanta and Baltimore. (Sketches of Charlotte, p.5)
Regrettably, there is almost nothing about African American people and businesses in Sketches of Charlotte. Readers interested in learning about them may consult Fannie Flono, Thriving in the Shadows: The Black Experience in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (Novello Festival Press, 2006), and the African American Album on this website.
The transcription of this work to a digital format could not reproduce the layout or decorative extras of the original. Below, however, is the complete text and illustrations of Sketches of Charlotte, The Queen City of the Old North State, and Mecklenburg, the Banner County (1888).
SKETCHES of CHARLOTTE,
THE QUEEN CITY of the OLD NORTH STATE,
and MECKLENBURG,THE BANNER COUNTY
PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE CHARLOTTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
HIRST PRINTING COMPANY
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.2-3
Hon. F. B. McDowell,
Mayor of Charlotte
THE days of Horace Greeley have long since been numbered with the past, and his "Go West, young man," that was once so popularly quoted and acted upon by so many who pinned their faith in the prophetic wisdom of the prize turnip raiser, has ceased to be quoted except in a spirit of fun. The advice may have been good at the time it was first given, but it does not suit the present age. The South is the Mecca of the pilgrims of to-day, and it is the object of this book to direct them to one of the most progressive, most prosperous and most inviting spots in this favored land. It is for the benefit of those who desire to better themselves by a change of base, that this work has been issued, under the auspices of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. In compiling this work care has been taken to speak plainly and truthfully, that all may understand and none be mislead. Its brief pages will, in a measure, show Charlotte as she is, and each page is an invitation to all who may be seeking a more desirable home, to come into one of the best regions the sun ever shone upon.
JOHN R. HALL, }- Committee
JOHN E. BROWN,
WADE H. HARRIS,
Charlotte, N. C, 1888
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.4-5
MIDWAY between New York and New Orleans, on the great Piedmont Air Line route, is located the city to which these pages refer. Charlotte, really, and truly, the Queen City of the Old North State, and the county seat of Mecklenburg, the banner county. These are not empty claims, and this writer would not make them his boast unless he felt that, without straining a single point, he could carry his readers with him. Charlotte is not only the busiest, the most progressive and the most enterprising city in North Carolina, but she is destined to assume the position, in the early future, of the most important commercial and manufacturing center between Atlanta and Baltimore. With the opportunities which are given her she would indeed make a dismal failure should she fail to verify this prediction. We do not fear a failure, however. Ten years ago Charlotte was merely a thrifty town, but to-day she is a small, but bustling city, with the advantages of water works; electric lights, arc and incandescent; gas lights; sewerage; street cars; telephone; electric fire alarm; paid fire department; free postal delivery; macadamized streets; brick and stone sidewalks, etc. A city that can acquire all of these internal improvements within the limited space of ten years, increase its population thirty per cent, pay off its accumulated debt and reduce its rate of taxation at the same time, surely has a future before it. Such is the record of Charlotte.
HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.
CHARLOTTE, the county seat of Mecklenburg, is located in the great Piedmont belt, north of the 35th parallel of latitude, and almost midway between the Atlantic coast and the Appalatian [sic] range of mountains. It is the hub of the great Richmond and Danville railroad system, and the most important railroad center in the Slate. From no point of the compass can the city be entered without crossing two or more railroad tracks. From the south comes in the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta Division of the R. & D., and the Air Line division of the same company; from the west comes in the Western North Carolina and the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio division of the R. & D., and from the North the Virginia Midland and North Carolina divisions; from the east comes the Seaboard Air Line, from Baltimore and Norfolk, via Raleigh, and from Wilmington;
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.6-7
and from the West comes the western division of the Carolina Central road. This shows Charlotte to be the centre of six railroad lines, but three more are projected and will, in all probability, be built within the next two years One is a road from Charlotte to Weldon, the second is a branch road of the 3 C's Company from Lancaster to Charlotte, and the third is a branch road from Laurens, S. C. All of these proposed roads are regarded as certainties, but even if they are not built, the roads already running into Charlotte are sufficient to show the importance of the rail connections of the city.
Charlotte is an historical city; but as our field is the progressive present and the prospective future rather than the eventful past, we can dwell but slightly upon things historical. Mecklenburg was formed in 1762, was named in honor of Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, and was originally settled by Scotch-Irish. It was the citizens of this county who drafted and signed the first Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775. Several historical revolutionary battles were fought on Mecklenburg soil. Lord Cornwallis, with his main army, was encamped in Charlotte from September 26 to October 14, 1780, and Queen's College, the first educational institution of the kind established in the United States, was built in Charlotte. Brick imported from England were used in its construction. The college was located on the ground now occupied by the residence of Mr. A. B. Davidson, and last fall some of the foundation brick were dug up and laid in the foundation of the new building of the Y. M. C. A. Cornwallis' headquarters remained standing, near the Springs corner, in this city, until the fall of 1886, when the old house was torn down to give way to the march of improvement. A sketch of the building, made from a photograph, is given on another page. This much we mention incidental to the history of the town and county; and now we pass on to the . . .
CHARLOTTE OF TODAY.
As already intimated, Charlotte is a progressive and prosperous city. The population is 12,200, at the present writing, and the establishment of the three new cotton mills will increase this number by the fall of 1888 to not less than 15,500. The city is divided into four wards, and is controlled by a mayor and board of aldermen, there being three aldermen from each ward. Hon. F. B. McDowell, whose portrait appears on another page, is at the head of the present administration, which in its political complexion, is thoroughly Democratic. The city has a paid fire department and a well trained and thoroughly equipped police department, in addition to the advantages mentioned at the outset of this work.
The location of the city is 760 feet above the level of the sea, and from the house tops splendid views of the mountains can be obtained. From the Central Hotel the Blue Ridge range and the six peaks of the King's Mountain range can be seen on any clear day. The streets of Charlotte are wide and level and if laid out in a straight line would measure seventy miles. The main streets and many of the cross streets are macadamized. The sidewalks in the main part of the city are laid in stone or brick, while the suburban sidewalks are laid with plank. The streets are lighted by electricity. A notable feature of Charlotte, as indicated by the illustrations, is the number of her handsome residences and churches, with grassy lawns and shaded walks. Very few cities of equal size can compare with Charlotte in the elegance and beauty of her residences.
CHARLOTTE has the best banking facilities of any place in North Carolina. There are three solid and successful banks in the town; the First National, with resouces at the time of the last report of $969,571.61; the Commercial National, with resources of $706,082.93, and the Merchants' and Farmers' National, with resources of $643,840.92. There are also three Building and Loan Associations in the city, each one in a flourishing condition, and each one daily aiding in the upbuilding of the city. Over two hundred houses have been built in Charlotte through the medium of the Building and Loan Associations.
THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
J.H. Weddington, President, Chamber of Commerce
One of the most important business organizations of the city is the Chamber of Commerce, of which Mr. J. H. Weddington is president. This organization embraces in its membership the leading business men of Charlotte, and it is due to their enterprise that this work is issued. Another monument to the worth of the Chamber of Commerce is the passage by Congress of the bill for a public building in Charlotte, the movement for the Charlotte & Weldon road, the Lancaster branch of the 3 C's road, and the Laurens (S. C.) branch road.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.8-9
In Hotels and Newspapers Charlotte is particularly fortunate. The Central Hotel and Buford House are equipped in excellent style and are conducted on modern principles. The two combined can accommodate 800 guests.
Both hotels are furnished in elegant goods, even the hallways being laid in Brussels carpeting. In the newspaper line, Charlotte boasts of a first-class daily in the Chronicle, owned and managed by Mr. W. S. Hemby. It takes the telegraphic dispatches and enjoys a fine patronage. The Democrat, a weekly paper published by Yates & Strong, is one of the oldest papers in the State, and the most successful one without exception. The Southern Newspaper Union has a finely equipped plant here, for the publication of patent outside papers. The Union prints outsides for about 75 weekly papers issued in different parts of the South.
THE WATER WORKS.
THE Charlotte Water Works were established in 1882 by a company of Northern capitalists, but are now owned by home people, having been purchased by Dr. R: J. Brevard and Mr. E. B. Springs. The engine house and the two reservoirs from which the water supply is drawn, are located one mile east of the city, and the water tower, from which the supply is distributed, is located on the court house lot, near the center of the city. The supply of water is sufficient to meet all demands, being practically inexhaustible. The water is as clear and sparkling as that of a spring.
THE STREET CARS.
THE street railroad was established and put into operation in January, 1887. The lines were built and equipped by a Southern company, but have been purchased by Mr. E. K. P. Osborne, a representative Charlotte man, who is sole owner and manager. The investment is paying handsomely.
THE CITY SEWERAGE.
ONE of the best advantages enjoyed by the city is a good and safe system of sewerage—the Waring system. All the pipes are laid under ground, and there are four large mains, one running through each ward of the city. The mains discharge into flowing streams one mile distant.
THE Northern man figures prominently in the population of Charlotte. Some of our largest property owners and manufacturers are Northerners. Sectional feeling does not prevail here, and the Northern man is not only welcomed, but is taken into the home circle and made to feel like he is one of us. Nearly all the Charlotte residents of Northern birth are prosperous and well to do, and have found nothing but kindness at the hands of our people.
THE UNITED STATES MINT BUILDING.
IN former days Charlotte boasted of a United States Mint, where gold and silver money were coined. The building is still here, and though not now used as a mint, it is put to an equally good purpose, and one that is of vastly more service to the mining interests of the South; and that is, an assay office, where the bullion from the surrounding mines is received, assayed and purchased for the government. The mint building is a massive, solid looking structure, and is located on East Trade street, near the Richmond & Danville Railroad station. It is provided with vaults of the most substantial kind, that were once used for the storage of gold and silver coin.
Lord Cornwallis' Headquarters
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.10-11
The mint was established in Charlotte in the year 1838, and was continued until 1861, when the outbreak of the war caused a suspension of operations. During the period named, money to the value of $5,059,188 was coined in Charlotte, of which $4,405,135 was in half eagles, $544,915 in quarter eagles and 109,138 in gold dollars.
After the close of the war the mint building was reopened as an assay office for the benefit of the mining interests of the South. Business lagged for a considerable period, as only a few mines were in operation. Gradually, however, as the effects of the war wore off, business in the mining circles began to improve, and about 1873 the assay office began to have some work to do. Since that date there has been a steady increase in the business of the assay office; and in the language of the director of the mint, the assay office here is "now fulfilling the purpose for which it was established, to provide the necessary facilities to a mining region in relation to which it occupies a central position." Some idea of the business of the assay office may be obtained from the fact that the books show that since the year 1876, the assays of gold bullion have amounted to $1,800,000.
It must be remembered, in connection with the statement of the amount of bullion assayed, that some of the largest mines in this section are owned by English capitalists, who ship their bullion direct to England, and their gold does not pass through the assay office here. Robert P. Waring is the assayer, and Geo. B. Hanna the assistant assayer. Mr. Waring was appointed by President Cleveland.
White Graded School, Colored Graded School, United States Mint
THE GOLD MINES.
MECKLENBURG County is not only one of the most favored agricultural counties in the State, but is perhaps the richest of any county in mineral wealth. The county is fairly dotted with gold mines, some of which have been worked for fifty or seventy-five years past with varied success. There are about sixty gold mines in the county, four of which are located in the very suburbs of Charlotte. The Rudisill mine, the largest and most extensively operated mine in the State, is located near the southern terminus of Church street, and the St. Catherine, another large mine, is located within a stone's throw of the Trade street station of the Richmond & Danville Railroad Company. From Independence square the steam from the exhaust pipes of the Point mine, located at the western terminus of Trade street, can be seen, while a drive to the fair grounds will reveal the works of the Summit Hill mine.
The Rudisill is now worked by Northern parties; indeed, nearly all the mines of Mecklenburg county are worked by Northern capital. The main shaft of the Rudisill is 360 feet deep, while there are 3,000 feet of tunnels.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.12-13
The St. Catherine mine is down 400 feet. The Capps Hill and the Dunn mine, located about ten miles irom the city, are among the richest mines in the county. In addition to these mines, the Hopewell, McGinn, Arlington Guarantee, Clark, Baltimore and North Carolina, Ferris, Black, Stephen Wilson and Simpson mines are being worked.
The smaller and less important mines are too numerous to mention in our limited space. There are at least twenty mines in the county which are being constantly worked, and forty which are worked at irregular intervals. This represents Mecklenburg's gold mining interests, but the mining industry is not confined alone to this county. There are some extensively developed and prosperous mines in the adjoining counties of Rowan, Cabarrus and Union. The ores vary considerably in quality, the lowest grade being about $40 per ton and the highest $180 per ton. The Rudisill mine has produced since it was first worked, $2,500,000 in gold, and the Capp's Hill about $2,000,000. It is estimated that $1,000,000 of Northern capital is now invested in the gold mining industry of Mecklenburg. It is a historical fact that the first discovery of gold in this section was made at what is now known as the Reed mine, in the adjoining county, of Cabarrus, in the year 1799, by Conrad Reed, a twelve year old son of John Reed, the owner of the land. One Sunday while strolling along a branch the boy's eye was attracted by a pretty yellow rock. He carried it home and his father used it for three years as a weight to keep the door of his shanty from slamming shut. In 1802, he took it to Fayetteville and sold it to a jeweler for $3.50. He did not then know the character of the yellow lump. It proved to be a nugget of virgin gold, weighing twenty-eight pounds.
Scene on College Street [looking south]
THE sections of country that are favored with a better climate than Charlotte are indeed few. The summers are made pleasant by the prevailing winds from the mountains, and the winters are generally open and mild. Building operations can be carried on all winter. The cold snaps, which are bound to visit every locality, here very rarely last more than two days at a time, and it is only once in about five years that ice forms sufficiently thick to afford the young people a chance to delight in the pleasures of skating. Flowers bloom out of doors almost the year round, and the truck gardens are green in February. The winters are generally marked by two or three light snow falls. A snow three inches deep is considered a heavy one in this section. Frost is seldom known between April 1 and November 1.
Trade Street, East from Independence Square
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.14-15
The best idea that can be given of the climate here, and at the same time the most accurate one, is to be secured from the records of the United States signal station at this place. The station was established here in 1879, and the following table is taken, through the courtesy of Sergeant Barry, from the official records of the station:
|Average Temperature during each month of the year.||
Maximum Temperature during each month of the year.
Temperature during each month of the year.
during each month of the year.
|Average per cent relative Humidity during the year.|
A more equable temperature cannot be found in the Southern States. The figures speak for themselves, and it would be superfluous to elaborate upon them.
Tryon St. North from Post Office [Foreground shows first block of South Tryon Street.]
THE TRAFFIC IN KING COTTON.
KING cotton is an important factor in the business of Charlotte, the city being the chief market for the staple grown, not only in Mecklenburg and adjoining counties in North Carolina, but several adjoining counties in South Carolina. The average yearly receipts of cotton in Charlotte by wagon is about 30,000 bales, but in addition to this a great quantity is handled by the railroads that is not counted in the local receipts. The city has the finest facilities for handling cotton of any place in the State. The platform, built expressly for the reception of cotton, by the Richmond & Danville and the Carolina Central Railroad Companies, covers three acres of ground, and it is no rare sight during the cotton season to see it completely filled with bales of cotton. One important feature of the cotton business in Charlotte is the steam compress, of which Capt. W. H. Edwards is superintendent. The compress usually commences work on September 15th, and shuts down about May 1st. This period constitutes a season's work, and the books of the company show that the average work of the compress is 60,000 bales each season.
Charlotte Cotton Compress
The cotton is compressed here and loaded on the cars for direct shipment to Liverpool. The Charlotte cotton market has the advantages of a Cotton Exchange, of which Mr. J. F. Lyon is president, and through which the buyers get direct quotations and advices from all the leading centers of trade.
IN the matter of educational facilities, Charlotte is exceedingly well favored. The city has an excellent system of graded schools, besides several flourishing private educational institutions. Of the latter the Charlotte Female Institute is the most important. It has been conducted for years past by the Rev. Wm. R. Atkinson, as principal, and has grown and prospered in a most flattering manner. The building is a spacious two-story structure, and is located in the eastern section of the city, on a sharp knoll, and is surrounded by beautiful grounds. It is heated by steam and lighted by gas and electricity. It is one of the most successful educational institutions in the South, the number of students in attendance being limited only by the accommodations of the building.
Biddle Institute is another important institution. It was established solely for the education of the colored race by the Northern Presbyterian Church, under a charter granted by the State Legislature. The buildings are located in a commanding site on the western suburbs of the city, and the ground comprise fifty-five acres. The main building is represented in the cut. The property of the institution, including the building site, is valued at $80,000.
St. Mary’s seminary, established in Charlotte in 1887, offers superior advantages as an educational institution The building is a large frame structure, and is located on South Tryon street. It is in charge of five Sisters of Charity.
Twenty miles from Charlotte, in Mecklenburg county, is located Davidson College, one of the most celebrated seats of learning in the Southern States.
Charlotte Female Institute
The College was founded in 1837, and received its charter from the Legislature in 1838. The main building originally cost $90,000. The college is finely equipped. The institution is under the car of the Presbyterians, but, as its charter declares, “is designed to educate the youth of all classes without any regard to the distinction of religious denomination.”
No better system of graded schools can be found in any Southern city. The white school occupies a large and handsome brick building, located in a beautiful grove in the southern section of the city. The buildings and grounds belong to the city, having been purchased for the special purposes of the graded school.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.18-19
The colored graded school occupies a large and neat two-story frame building, built by the city for its use in 1886. The average attendance at the white graded schools is 800, and at the colored school, 600. The schools are governed by a board of school commissioners elected by the people. Tuition is free. Prof. Alexander Graham is general superintendent, with a salary of $1,400. Prof. J. E. Ratley is principal of the colored graded school. A corps of sixteen teachers is employed at the white school and eight at the colored.
The schools are maintained by taxation, ten cents on the hundred dollars' worth of personal and real property in the city, being levied and collected for their support. The schools have received some benefit from the Peabody fund. In addition to the public schools, there are a number of excellent private schools in the city for both boys and girls, and all are largely patronized. As it appears from this, the school facilities are indeed almost perfect. A boy or girl can here begin at the alphabet and go on and up through the full course, ending with a college graduation without going outside the county.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.20-21
THAT Charlotte is a moral community is demonstrated by her list of churches. All denominations are represented, and all the different religions denomi nations work and live together in peace and harmony. Our illustrations r the principal churches will serve to show that Charlotte is justly entitled to the pride which she takes in the architec tural beauty, of the imposing appearance, and the spacious ness of her temples of worship. Following is a list of the churches in the city; First Pres byterian; Second Presbyterian; Tryon St. Methodist; Church Street Methodist; Graham St. Chapel, Presbyterian; Tiyon Street Baptist; St.Peter's Episcopal; St. Mark's Lutheran; St. Peter's Catholic; Associate Reformed; St. Martin's Chapel, Episcopal; Salvation Army.
The list of churches for the colored people is: Zion M. E. Church; Wesley Chapel; Little Rock; First Baptist; St. Michael's; Ebenezer Baptist; Presbyterian.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
THE church influence is widespread in this city, and almost all denominations have founded some charity is a monument to their benevolence and Christian love. The Home and Hospital, conducted under the auspices of the ladies of the Episcopal Church, but open for the reception of the needy of all denominations, is an old institution, in Charlotte and has a noble record of good works performed. The ladies of the Tryon Street Methodist Church have established, and have in successful operation a Day Nursery, and the congregations of the First and Second Presbyterian Churches have founded the Presbyterian Home. A House of Refuge for reclaimed women was established in 1887.
Young Men's Christian Association Building
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.22-23
The Thompson Orphanage is located in the eastern suburbs of the city. The building is a large and comfortable brick structure, of Gothic design, and now shelters a large number of little orphans. Col. E. A. Osborne is superintendent of the Orphanage. A society of Charlotte ladies established in 1887 a hospital for the colored race, and the ladies of the Episcopal church have this year established a similar institution.
THE list of secret societies is well represented in Charlotte. Phalanx Lodge No. 31, A. F. & A. M., meets every second and fourth Monday in the month. The officers are: Francis H. Glover, W. M.; J. S. Boyne, S. W.; Conrad F. Lipscomb, J. W.; William F. Griffith, treasurer; William M. Crowell, secretary. Excelsior Lodge, No. 261, A. F. & A M., meets on the first and third Tuesday evenings at Masonic Temple. The officers are: Chas. W. Alexander, W. M.; J. H. Van Ness, S. W.; J. H. Thore, J. W.; Chas. W. Bradshaw, secretary. Charlotte Chapter R. A. M., No. 39, meets on the second and fourth Friday evenings at Masonic Temple. Officers: Chas. W. Alexander, H. P.; Francis H. Glover, K.; John H. McAden, S.; John W. Wadsworth, T.; J. Roessler, S. Charlotte Commandery, No. 2, K. T., meets on the first and third Thursday at Masonic Temple. Officers: A. G. Brenizer, E. C.; Francis H. Glover, G.; George II. King, C. G.; John W. Wadsworth, T.; Charles W. Alexander, R. Knights of Honor, Mecklenburg Lodge, No. 335, meets second and fourth Thursdays. Officers: E. K. P. Osborne, D.; H. Baumgarten, R.; F. R. Durham, F. S. Knights and Ladies of Honor, meets at the
First Presbyterian Church
Masonic Temple, Chas. R. Jones, Pro. Independent Order B' nai B' rith, Charlotte Lodge, No. 280, meets second and fourth Sunday afternoons at Masonic Temple. Officers: D. Goldberg. P.; H. Baumgarten, S. Keshet Shel Barsel, North State Lodge, No. 194, meets second and fourth Sundays at Masonic Temple, H. Baumgarten, P. Hebrew Benevolent Association, meets first Sundays Officers: H. Baumgarten, P.; D. Goldberg, S. This association has charge of the Jewish Cemetery. Order of Railway Conductors, No. 221, meets at Masonic Temple, first and third Sundays. Wm. Clarkson, C. C. Independent Order Odd Fellows, Mecklenburg Declaration Lodge, No. 9, meets every Tuesday night. Officers: J. A. Bixby, N.G.; A. J. Hunneycutt, V. G.; H. D. Duckworth, R. S.; W. B. Overby, B. S.; W. M. Crowell, treasurer. There is a flourishing lodge of the Royal Arcanum, and several minor organizations in the city.
Second Presbyterian Church
CITY AND COUNTY FINANCES.
BOTH the town and county are in a healthy financial condition. The city this year voted a bonded debt of $50,000, to run 30 years at 5 per cent interest, the bonds were bought at par immediately upon being issued. This issue of bonds was made to enable the city to secure needed internal improvements, and the money thus secured has been judiciously applied. A large tract of beautifully wooded land, adjoining Elmwood Cemetery on the west, has been purchased, and is being laid out as a city park. It is meant as an extension of the cemetery grounds, but until this need becomes pressing, it will be used as a park. Beautiful drives and walks have been laid out, rustic bridges constructed across the two flowing streams within its borders, and fountains will be placed at convenient points.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.24-25
A large portion of the money has been disbursed on permanent street improvements, such as stone curbing, widening, macadamizing, grading the streets, and in the laying of brick and stone pavements, and also in the construction of a complete sewerage system for the city. The rate of taxation in the city is 60 cents on the $100 valuation of real and personal property, and a special tax of ten cents on $100 for school purposes. A tax of 20 cents on the poll is also applied for school purposes. The state and county tax is 67.5 cents on the $100 valuation, and poll tax $1.50. The taxable valuation of the city property is $4,250,000, and of the county $3,500,000. The county always carries a good surplus in the treasury.
CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT.
THE County of Mecklenburg has been fortunate for years past, in the character of the men elected to constitute the Board of Commissioners, for in the hands of these officers the interests of the county are largely intrusted. The present Board consists of Thos. L. Vail, S. H. Hilton, Thos. Grier, J. A. Younts and J. L. Jetton. Mr. Vail is Cairman of the Board, having been re-elected to that position successively for the past nine years. He is supported by four conservative and representative county men, who enjoy the fullest confidence of the people. Mr. Hilton is one of the most prominent farmers of the county, and in addition to his office as commissioner, he is superintendent of the county stockade, having in charge the maintainence of the county convict system, and the working of the public roads by convict labor. This system has been in operation for three years, and about 20 miles of public roads have been graded and macadamized under Mr. Hilton's supervision, at a nominal cost to the county. This plan of utilizing the convict labor on the county roads seems to be a good one. The minor criminals, instead of being
sent to the penitentiary, are turned over to Mr. Hilton and put to work on the roads of the county. It is estimated that within the next ten years, at the present rate of progress, every public road in the county will be graded and macadamized. The county owns a portable steam engine and rock crusher, by the use of which the work of macadamizing the roads is greatly facilitated. The convicts are comfortably housed and clothed, and are treated humanely. Mr. Vail and Mr. Grier both reside in the city, but own and operate farms in the county. Mr. Younts resides at Pineville and is a merchant and farmer. Mr. Jetton is one of the progressive farmers of the county. The board of commissioners is elected annually by the magistrates, or justices of the peace, of the county.
Tryon Street Methodist Church
THE CITY OFFICERS are elected by the voters of the city every two years. Hon. F. B. McDowell is the present mayor, and Heriot Clarkson is mayor pro tem, to officiate in the absence of the mayor. The board of aldermen is composed of representative city men as follows: Ward 1, T. R. Magill, J. H. McAden, W. E. Shaw; Ward 2, Col. John L. Brown, J. M. Hagler (colored), John T. Schenck (colored); Ward 3, R. Y. McAden, W. W. Ward, Hannibal Edwards; Ward 4, D. W. Gates, Heriot Clarkson, John J. Gormley. Fred Nash is city clerk and treasurer; W. B. Gooding, city tax collector; W. S. Mallory, cotton weigher; J. S. Withers, cotton inspector; S. G. Strickland, street commissioner and engineer; Dr. F. Scarr, keeper of Elm wood Cemetery; S. Bradley, keeper of Pinewood (colored) Cemetery; Burwell & Walker, city attorneys. The police department consists of eleven men. W. F. Griffith is chief; H. W. Jetton and W. B. Taylor, sergeants, and Wm. McKenzie, J. L. Orr, D. P. Hunter,
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.26-27
E. W. Rigler, C. McNeils, Joseph M. Boyte, privates; L. A. Blackwelder, depot policeman; B. F. Presson, sanitary policeman. W. F. Griffith is chief ex officio, of the paid fire department, and O. F. Asbury, fire marshal. The fire department is thoroughly equipped, having two engines, four hose carriages, one hook and ladder truck, one extension ladder and a full complement of horses to draw the engines, reels and trucks. The men and machines are quartered in houses provided for their especial use, and in which are all the conveniences, including drop harness and electric gongs and contrivances.
THE LIGHTS OF CHARLOTTE.
CHARLOTTE is well supplied in the matter of light, a gas company and an I electric light company both being established here. The gas company is an old institution, but the works were added to and improved a few years since, this step being necessary to supply the increasing demands of consumers. A large holder with double the capacity of the old one was built, and the works were reconstructed on the new and improved order, so as to make water gas, instead of the old and more expensive style of rosin gas. Mr. S. E. Linton is superintendent of the works The Electric Lighting Company was established in Charlotte in 1886. The company bought a site in the central part of the city and erected a brick building for the engines and dynamos. The Thompson-Houston system was adopted. The company supplies both the arc and incandescent light, the streets, hotels, and some of the business houses being lighted by the former. The machinery is driven by a Ball engine. Mr. Robinson is the superintendent.
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
AS indicated in a preceding page, Charlotte is a very important railroad centre, perhaps the most important of any city between Washington and Atlanta.
It is the southern terminus of the main line of the Richmond & Danville system, and three branch lines of that company terminate here. The railroad facilities can best be appreciated by a glance at a map. We are on the main line from New York to New Orleans, and four express and mail trains between these two places pass here every twenty-four hours. The A.T. & O. division of the Richmond & Danville connects at Statesville with the Western North Carolina Road, giving our city access to the west in that direction. The Richmond & Danville gives us an outlet to the north through Washington, Richmond and West Point, and the Seaboard Air Line gives us an outlet via Norfolk and Wilmington. The Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta, and the Atlanta
& Charlotte Air Line, divisions of the Richmond & Danville, give us outlets for all southern points. A survey is now being made for a new railroad from
Charlotte east to Weldon. This road will pass through some of the richest counties in the State, and some of which have heretofore been without railroad facilities An election is pending in Mecklenburg for the purpose of voting bonds in aid of the construction of this road, and also to aid the building of a road from Charlotte to Lancaster, there to connect with the 3 C's road, by which an independent connection will be secured with Charleston and Cincinnati. Twenty passenger trains arrive at and depart from Charlotte every twenty four hours.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.28-29
Richmond and Danville Passenger Station
There are four depots in the city, Carolina Central, passenger and freight, and the Richmond & Danville, passenger and freight. Cuts are given in this book of the handsome passenger station of the Richmond & Danville, and the freight depot of the Carolina Central.
Carolina Central Freight Depot
THERE are several real estate agencies in Charlotte from which parties desiring to invest can secure full and reliable information in regard to city lots, lands, mines, etc. The Carolina Loan, Land & Improvement Company has headquarters established nearly opposite the Buford House. H. C. Eccles & Co., and Robt. E. Cochrane are also posted in regard to real estate and have have lists of properties that may be purchased.
THE TRADE OF CHARLOTTE.
IT is rather difficult to form an estimate of the yearly volume of trade of the city, and it can only be approximated. As an aid to a proper conception of the extent of the city's trade, it would probably seem well to give a rough statement of the different kinds of business carried on and the number of firms engaged therein.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.30-31
There are five bakery and confectionery stores; two wholesale candy factories; two book and stationery stores; seven firms for supply ot builders' materials; one wholesale carriage and buggy house; three clothing, hats and caps; two china and crockery ware; twelve cotton firms; seven retail and three wholesale drug firms; eight dry goods firms; two furniture firms and one furniture factory; three grain dealers; fifty grocers; three hardware; six iron and machinery; four millinery; four merchandise brokers; one musical house; three saddles and harness; lhreesash, doors and blinds; three shoe houses; four stoves and tinware; six printing houses; four tailoring establishments; one tanner. The wholesale dry goods trade in Charlotte last year was estimated at $750,000; wholesale boots and shoes $300,000; notions $150,000; hats and caps $50,000; clothing $350,000. The retail trade in all branches excepting hardware and kindred goods, amounted to $350,000, a showing in the departments enumerated of $1,950,000. This is exclusive of the manufacturing industries.
Residence of Gen. R. Barringer
THE INDUSTRIES OF CHARLOTTE.
CHARLOTTE ranks, industrially, as one of the most important inland cities of the South. As nearly as can be estimated $2,100,000 are now invested in manufacturing enterprises in the city. Among the oldest enterprises are the extensive iron works of Liddell Co., and the Mecklenburg Iron Works. These two establishments have built up a trade that extends through all the Southern States. Liddell Company have branch houses at Montgomery, Ala., and Dallas, Texas. These shops are a joint stock company, owned by Messrs. W. J. F. Liddell, J. L. Chambers, W. S. Liddell and F. B. McDowell, and manufacture engines, boilers, cotton presses, saw mills, etc.
Liddell Company's Works
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.32-33
The Mecklenburg Iron Works is one of the largest manufacturing plants in the South, and makes a specialty of the manufacture of mining machinery and mills. The works are owned by Capt. John Wilkes.
As a cotton milling centre, Charlotte is destined to command the attention of the world. The Charlotte Cotton Mills, owned by Gates Brothers & Co., have been in operation for ten years past and have proved an investment of rare success. They are equipped with a double set of boilers and engines, and run day and night. The mills are lighted by electricity. The capital stock is $125,000; spindles, 10,000; hands employed, 100.
Work is now progressing on three new cotton mills, all of which will be in operation by the fall of this year. The first of these is the Alpha, with a capital stock of $}oo,ooo; E. K. P. Osborne, president, and R J. Sifford, secretary and treasurer. The second is the Victor, capital stock $150,000; R. M. Gates, president, S. A. Cohen, secretary and treasurer; and the third is 'he Ada, capital stock $150,000; Col. John L. Brown, president, John }. Gormley, secretary and treasurer. These four mills combined will represent 35,000 spindles and $600,000 capital.
Another important industry is the Carolina Spoke and Handle Works, owned by Carson Brothers, where the fine native woods of this section are converted into spokes, rims and handles, and shipped to all parts of the country. This factory has standing orders from the New England States and from Europe.
A finely equipped and immensely successful furniture factory, owned by Elliott & Marsh is also among the industries of Charlotte. Both low and high grade goods are turned out and find shipment to all the States of the South, and to some Northern States.
Cotton Seed Oil Mills
The Charlotte Cotton Seed Oil Mills were established in this city four years ago. These mills have done a very large business, and the institution is perhaps the best money making concern in Charlotte. Last season the mills crushed an average of 35 tons of seed per day, but since the Spring of 1888, new warehouses have been built and new machinery added, so that the capacity of the mills has been exactly doubled. The mills are lighted by electricity, and during the season run day and night.
Mecklenburg Iron Works
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.34-35
A. E. Thornton, of Atlanta, is president of the company; George L. Baker, of Columbia, secretary and treasurer, and Thos. M. Belk, of Charlotte, Manager.
The Charlotte Clothing Manufacturing Company, owned by E. D. Latta & Bro., is an extensive establishment and keeps five salesmen traveling throughout the year. The goods manufactured here are sold in almost every State in the Union. The firm has regular customers in New York City. A view of the factory is given elsewhere in this book.
Residence of Col. Wm. Johnston
The Dixie Clothing Factory, owned by J. Hirshinger & Co., is a similar institution, and is located in the Davidson block on North Tryon street. It turns out pants and underwear, and has regular customers in all the Southern States, and in some Northern States. This factory also keeps a corps of salesmen on the road. There are three planing mills and wood working factories, one sash and blind factory, one bellows factory, one ice factory, one steam flouring mill, two steam cotton gins, and various other smaller industries in the city.
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
ONE of the strongest Young Men's Christian Associations to be found in the South is located in Charlotte. The Association was organized in 1857, and was re-organized in 1868, and again in 1874. Since that time it has been steadily gaining strength and is now in a flourishing condition. It is the only association in the State that owns a home of its own, and an elegant home it is, as may be seen by the cut on a preceding page. The building is of brown stone, quarried on the Carolina Central road, about 40 miles from Charlotte, and is three stories high, with a basement. It cost $25,000.
The building is thoroughly equipped, containing reading rooms, library, a large double-decked hall with galleries, for general services, gymnasium, parlors, offices, bath rooms, kitchen, dining rooms, etc. There are two stores on the ground floor. The building was designed by a Washington, architect; and is one of the handsomest and most imposing structures of the kind to be found in the country. The association now numbers 500 members. George B. Hanna is president-Walter Brem vice president; J. H. Hood, recording secretary, and W. F. Dowd, treasurer. The directors are: A. G. Brenizer, R. F. Stokes, A. S. Caldwell, W. L, Reid, T. L. Seigle and John B. Ross.
Ssketches of Charlotte, pp.36-37
AGRICULTURE, SOIL, PRODUCTIONS, ETC.
We have now spoken of some of the chief attractions of the city of Charlotte, and we propose, by way of diversion, to give our readers a spin through the fields and woods of Mecklenburg, the richest county in the State, and give them a little talk upon subj'ects agricultural. The roads of the county are first rate, most of them being macadamized for some distance out from town, and as the touch of spring is just beginning to be felt and seen in the pale green of the swelling oak and poplar buds, the crimson of the maple and the dark rich green of the fields of clover, the ride will be a pleasant one. But first let us take a glance at this sketch of suburban landscape, being a view of Wadsworth's model farm taken from the St. Catherine gold mine.
Wadsworth's Model Farm
The farm is located one mile from the city and is carpeted year in and year out with green, Mr. Wadsworth being a great believer in grasses and grain. He realizes two tons per acre of clover and lucerne, and he grows about 74 acres per year.
In our drive through the county we pass through a number of farms of the same character. The Double Oaks, of Gen. R. Barringer, Springdale, of S. B. Alexander, and the farms of Messrs. Baxter Moore, J. M. Davis, J. S. Myers, McD. Watkins, Philip Schiff, T. L. Vail, Joseph G. Shannonhouse, Jas. G. Harris, and D. P. Hutchison are particularly beautiful ones, and models of the modern Southern plantation home.
It is a delightful experience to take a drive through these splendid plantations oi the county, on one of our faultless spring days, when the air is rich in fragrance, and when—
"The hawthorn whitens and the juicy groves
Put forth their buds, unfolding, by degrees,
Till the whole leafy torest stands displayed,
In full luxuriance to the sighing gales."
The prospect is a pleasant one. Green fields meet the eye in every direction. The wave-like meadows are dotted with Alderneys, Jerseys, Holsteins and other improved breeds of cattle, and occasionally a flock of sheep is seen. The entire aspect of the country has been changed and improved by the adoption, some few years ago, of the no fence law, and one can travel mile after mile along a road that is bordered by fields of rustling corn, waving wheat or blooming cotton, with never a sign of a fence in sight. The cattle are fenced up in pastures, thus doing away with the trouble and expense of keeping up fences around the fields. The richest crops are now grown along the strips of land formerly taken up by the fences. The landscape is not only improved by the new order of things, but the farmers are annually saved a great expense.
Residence of Mayor McDowell
No finer agricultural section can be found in the Piedmont belt. We have here both clay and sandy soils, principally a deep brown clay soil, which well repays the intelligent and industrious farmer for its cultivation, and when well prepared and properly tilled will produce to perfection cotton, corn, wheat, oats, rye and tobacco, sweet and Irish potatoes. The yield from any of the above per acre will be as large here as anywhere in our favored Southern land. Clover and the grasses also grow finely, and will readily produce from two to four tons of good hay per acre. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, and all the smaller varieties of fruits yield well, while grapes grow to perfection.
Our farmers, too, are beginning to catch the spirit of progress around us, and are abandoning the old slovenly ways of the agriculturalists of ante bellum times. They are taking more kindly to the improved methods, and are investing more and more every year in labor-saving machines. Mr. Baxter Moore, one of the most prominent farmers of the county, and one to whom we are indebted for a good deal of agricultural data, has tilled the soil in Mecklenburg for twenty years past,
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.38-39
and says that he knows of no spot or section in all this broad land where he would be willing to emigrate with the view of bettering his condition. All the leading farmers say the same thing.
As much cotton can be raised here as anywhere in the cotton belt. The product of corn ranges from fifteen to fifty bushels per acre on upland; wheat fifteen to forty bushels; sweet or Irish potatoes, from two to four hundred bushels per acre, and oats fifty to one hundred bushels per acre.
Farming lands can be bought at from $10 to $30 per acre, according to situation and state of cultivation. In truth we know of no land that is blessed with a better climate, or that can offer more favorable inducements to the intelligent and industrious emigrant who may be looking around for a spot to settle down upon for life, than the lands in the vicinity of Charlotte.
Residence of Col. J. L. Brown
TOPOGRAPHY AND CHARACTERISTICS.
HE northern part of the county is gently rolling with occasional hills, and is well watered by creeks, branches and springs. There is a large area of ' meadow lands in the four creeks that traverse it. The meadow and bottom lands are easily drained, and there is but little land in this part of the county that is not tillable. This section abounJs in schools and churches. Oak, hickory, dogwoed, persimmon, ash and pine timber is plentiful.
THE northern part of the county is gently rolling with occasional hills, and is well watered by creeks, branches and springs. There is a large area of ' meadow lands in the four creeks that traverse it. The meadow and bottom lands are easily drained, and there is but little land in this part of the county that is not tillable. This section abounds in schools and churches. Oak, hickory, dogwoed, persimmon, ash and pine timber is plentiful. The products are corn, wheat, cotton, rye, clover, barley and all kinds of grasses. Fine hogs, cattle and sheep are raised in this, as well as in all sections of the county. The western part of the county is well watered by three creeks and several branches, and is bounded on the west by the Catawba river. It has plenty of fine water power, and the land is rich, producing fine crops of cereals, cotton and grasses. The southern section differs but little from the northern section. The soil is of a dark loam, finely adapted to all forms of agriculture. The eastern section is rolling, but not hilly. The soil alternates a grayish sandy top with red subsoil, admirably adapted to cotton, tobacco, fruits, cereals and stock raising. The whole county is well timbered. The schools are good, society excellent, and church privileges as complete as could be desired.
Residence of W. J. F. Liddell, Esq.
OUTSIDE of Charlotte there are four towns, either one of which is as large as many of the county seats in the State. They have handsome stores and residences and are populated by thrifty people, and are located on railroads leading into Charlotte. Huntersville and Davidson College are on the A. T. & O. road; Pineville on the C. C. & A. road, and Matthews on the Carolina Central road.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.40-41
Each town has a local government, composed of a mayor and board of commissioners. J. A. Younts is mayor of Pineville, J. Sol. Reid, mayor of Matthews, W. P. Williams, mayor of Davidson College, and H. A. Gray, mayor of Huntersville. All these towns are under what is known as the local option law. There is not a saloon in the county outside of Charlotte, and here the liquor traffic is well regulated under the high license system, each saloon having to pay a city license of $1,000 per year.
Residence of Walter Brem, Esq.
THE county abounds with fine water power and is fairly dotted with mills. The Catawba river, which sweeps her western borders, has a rapid fall and affords a water power that cannot be estimated. On the banks of this river are located five cotton factories, within twenty miles of Charlotte. The Old Rock Island Mills, where cloth for the Confederate soldiers was made, is situated on the banks of the Catawba, eleven miles from Charlotte. These mills are now owned by Hilton & Erwin, who have equipped the plant with improved machinery and turbine wheels. Here is to be seen one of the prettiest water powers in the South.
THE section of which this book treats is full of business opportunities for people of all professions. There is room in the city for new factories of the various branches, and homes in the county for farmers, millers, stock growers, dairymen, truckers, lumbermen, etc. A person of almost any honorable calling will find an opening here, such as might be expected to be found in any really thrifty and rapidly growing city like Charlotte. The mercantile and commercial interests of the city are by no means overdone, and there is abundant room for new factories of various kinds. The opening for manufactories is especially attractive on account of the railroad facilities and the fine shipping arrangements secured by the six railroads of the city.
The Wholesale Interests - Shipping Goods
Those who are casting about for a suitable location for a factory of any kind, would do well to remember this, and to bear in mind that there is not an idle wheel in Charlotte. The iron mills, the cotton factories, the machine shops, the furniture factory, clothing factories, and all the smaller manufacturing plants run on full time, and seldom get even with or ahead of their orders. It would be well to remember, too, that every manufacturing plant in Charlotte pays.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.42-43
There is not a factory started here in recent years, that has not found it necessary to increase its facilities by the addition of new machinery and buildings. Iron workers, machinists, architects, builders and mechanics of all kinds can drop right into business here. Skilled labor is in constant demand, but other than those who are of steady habits, industrious and energetic, will make a mistake by coming here, though the artisan possessing these qualifications need not hesitate to cast his lot among us. Our people are energetic and industrious, and those who would wish to succeed
A College Street Block
among us must be of the same character. In the county good opportunities are offered both the backwoodsman and suburban farmer. Truck, dairy and poultry farming have proven successful ventures, and there are now three large dairy farms, and several truck and poultry farms in and around the city, all returning good profits to the owners. The county offers inducements that cannot be excelled by any other county in the State. Many of them are recounted in other pages of this book. The stock grower will find here the home he needs, and the thrifty agriculturist will find a soil surprisingly fertile. Those who have a turn for the culture of grapes will find that this is the real home of the grape. Descriptions of the lands, the prices at which they may be bought and the crops which they produce will be found further on.
WHAT TOURISTS ENJOY.
THE "Bob White," or what is known as the partridge—the game bird of America, abounds in this section. Trained dogs, guides and teams for those who are fond of the sport can be had at a very reasonable cost. This is the finest sport known, and is indulged in eagerly by natives as well as numbers of northern tourists who come here every fall and winter for nothing else than to enjoy the excitement of the hunt and the splendid bracing atmosphere. The gaming season begins October 15th and ends April 1st.
THE VERDICT OF NORTHERN RESIDENTS.
THE northern residents of the South held a convention in Charlotte, on January 15th, 1879, and as a result of their convention they issued a pamphlet giving a great deal of information about this section of the country, for the benefit of their friends in the North. They drew up a paper setting forth the facts in regard to this section as they had found them, giving their observations upon the capabilities of the Southern country, the agricultural, mineral and manufacturing resources, the society and the spirit of the people. The paper was signed by every member of the convention, nearly one hundred in number, who pledged themselves "to stand upon its truth by their signatures thereto."
Residence of John Van Landingham, Esq.
It is appropriate that we should here reproduce a portion of the paper —it is too voluminous to be copied entire—for it is evidence from those who have dwelt among us and have found our land a goodly one. They are all Northern born people, and after living among us until they knew us well, they met in convention and gave public expression to their views.
Sketches of Charlotte, pp.44-45
In their paper they say, among other things: "We, the representatives of Northern settlers in the Southern States, and being ourselves immigrants from localities in the Northern States to the respective States following our individual signatures, in convention assembled, do call your attention to the following, feeling assured that cool judgment upon the facts shown will set in flow the currents of reason, and action will follow reason without prejudice. We prefer to make findings specifically and at length, and we find:
"That in the States of our former homes there exists an active prejudice against the South and its people; that this prejudice is mighty in its influence for evil on the nation; that by it and through it the conditions of the country are largely disquieted; that it is fomented and kept alive for ends ulterior to the common weal; that the real interests of the nation are kept out of sight in keeping alive this prejudice. That much of this prejudice, if not all of it, is due mainly to wrong information concerning (and partial and total ignorance of) the facts existing in a large portion of the South, that in the portions of the South in which we reside, the right of any man, from no matter where, to express publicly as well as privately, his opinion upon any subject and of every nature, is nowhere and in no manner restrained. That all laws are well administered and as truly enforced against the wrongdoer as in any part of any State of the Union; that any man who has so conducted himself at his former home as to win the regard of honest men and decent people, by pursuing the same course of life in the South, does gain and keep the regard and respect of all people, regardless of any question of politics or religious faith; and we further find that being a Northern man is certainly no disadvantage; that every citizen recognizes that he is amenable to the law, and that local self government is as much required and encroachments upon these as much deplored as in any State, North, East or West. That we find, too, that persons foisted themselves upon the polity of the South, and by their conduct cast discredit upon the Northern name; that those of us who were in the army of the Union never for a moment pretended to think of denying our uniform or the old cause. The Confederate soldier has always evinced the true soldier instinct in the grasp of those who were his enemies in war; that, considering reputed outrages, if these were carefully sifted, it will be found that the complainants for like acts would have suffered at the hands of any people under like provocation; that in business relations the ex-Confederate is willing to sell his land on time to Northern men, even to people who could not get the same accommodations at the North, East or West. We find, too, that in the ramifications of business they endorse our notes and bank paper, and are not over-anxious or inquisitive on questions of extension, and they frequently say, 'It is as much our interest as yours that you should succeed, and by your success help fill the country with thrifty people.' That as neighbors they visit our firesides and welcome us to the privileges of public worship, and sympathize in our sorrows and afflictions; that they admire sturdy integrity and real principle; that their definition of what these things are corresponds with the idea of the same our neighbors of the North held in common with us. We find that we are not tabooed nor subjected to any kind of persecution for proper conduct or good Northern ideas or principles, and though differing from many of our Southern neighbors on many essential questions in politics and otherwise, we have lived and prospered here among them, they knowing these differences.
''We find that any man who has the energy to go West, with limited means, and trusts to his energy and the smiles of Providence, and who succeeds there, could take the same energy and trust and have greater certainty of success in the South. He has no grasshoppers, nor enduring ice, nor snow, nor blasting drought, nor violent winds. His wants are fewer, his hardships less. A generous soil is his, producing well, and capable of being worked in during any month of the year; fine forests of wood of various kinds, minerals of all kinds, marble, granite, sandstone, and all other building and ornamental fabrics in abundance, fine water power, and a diversified scenery. A climate always moderate, no sultry nights which leave him more exhausted than on his retiring; the noon-day sun of summer so tempered that its heat is not oppressive and rarely rising to a temperature of 98 degrees Farenheit; the winds moderate and without sharp contrasts of change. Any man, then with the pluck to make of himself a Western pioneer, can within less than ten years, in this country, where all things tend to man's good health and prosperity, surround himself with lands and stock, and have a fine income with less privation than in many portions of the Union.
"We find that a man with means enough to keep himself on a farm or in a small industry until he matures a crop, can get very liberal terms of time payment on lands at low prices from the native population, and that with a properly directed energy and industrious and sober habits he cannot fail to live very comfortably and accumulate property.
"We find that no man is ostracised for his opinions or on account of the land of his birth; but, as elsewhere, for his bad acts and dishonest failure to meet his trusts and obligations. We find, too, that it is a mistake to treat suspiciously, or to ignore the kindly offices of neighborly friendship, in all cases extended to a stranger, and that sometimes persons have repelled kindness and then complained of being let alone. The Southern native expects Northern people to have notions on politics and other topics different from his, and views with as much contempt as is elsewhere done, any man who truckles or toadies for simple gain.
"We find that to the people of the other sections of the United States, the South is an unknown land so far as relates to a knowledge of its soil, its climate, its healthfulness and its people, that it is libelled for partisan ends; and we present this document in all conscience and honor to give honest knowledge and correct wrong reports.''
Sketches of Charlotte, p.46
A WORD IN CONCLUSION.
OUR sketch is necessarily brief and is in many respects imperfect. As we glance over it, we see places where words could well be added, yet we are content to let it go as it is. No one who reads this book will be disappointed upon making a personal investigation into the status of the resources of Charlotte and Mecklenburg county, as set forth in these pages, while there is a possibility that many will be agreeably surprised. It is better to please our visitor than to disappoint him, and we have borne this point in view. We have endeavored to underrate, rather to overrate. Probably more than the half has been told, but we are confident that we have not told all. To those who seek a home in the South, we would ask, What more desirable locality can be found than in Mecklenburg county ? We have shown that taxes are cheap; the climate exceedingly agreeable the year round, with no droughts, blizzards or cyclones; the soil fertile and land cheap; the country finely adapted to the raising of fine stock; the city flourishing and offering every inducement to manufactures and trades that could be offered by an important railroad center; lands cheap; the people liberal spirited and hospitable; religious freedom prevailing; a county abounding in resources for the farmer, miller, miner and manufacturer, and a city affording all the comforts and conveniences oi a metropolitan center. It is to such a locality as this that we invite you! To Charlotte, the Queen City of the Old North State, and Mecklenburg, the Banner County!