Thomas Polk (1732-1794)
In 1755, surveyor Thomas Polk built his home where two Indian trading paths
met. Many years later this crossroads would become the "Square," the
intersection of Charlotte's busy Trade and Tryon streets.
Polk married Susannah Spratt, whose family was one of the first to make their
way through the wilderness to what would become "Charlotte Town." With
Abraham Alexander and John Frohock, Polk bought 360 acres of land from
Britain's Lord Augustus Selwyn. The land lay where the future downtown
Charlotte would flourish.
In the 1770s, conflicts grew between settlers and the British rulers who wanted to
maintain control over the colonies. Thomas Polk became commander of the local
army, called a "militia."
He was one of 27 men who signed controversial documents in 1775 that
pronounced their freedom from British rule. The "Mecklenburg Declaration of
Independence" and the "Mecklenburg Resolves" would remain the source of
controversy for many years.
When President George Washington visited Charlotte in 1791, he dined at the
home of Thomas Polk.