President Taft’s visit to Charlotte on May 20, 1909 not only spawned the term “Taft rain,” it also served as occasion for debut of the “Mecklenburg March.” Our colleagues at the Charlotte & Mecklenburg public library have a 2009 recording of the march online (though it doesn’t seem to working right now). No doubt many Mecklenburgers (especially those whose roots lie near the spring where the
supposed signers met) echo the sentiments found in the march’s only lyrics. This copy of the sheet music is from the papers of a proud Mecklenburger and staunch believer in the Meck Dec. We’re still looking for a little more information on Janie Alexander Patterson. We know that she was a “Miss” when she wrote this composition. And that she later became Janie Alexander Patterson Wagoner.
6 thoughts on “Celebrating the Day with the Mecklenburg March”
I could imagine a meticulous modern-day researcher of North Carolina history (let’s call him “John”) struggling mightily to come to terms with the deep-rooted belief of an esteemed ancestor (let’s call him “LeGette”) that there ever existed such a document as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence….
Add to the plot that your character “John” lives and, more importantly, works among many non-believers and finds himself frequently ridiculed for giving any thought to the mere possibility that such a document existed.
On another subject…more on Janie Alexander Patterson Wagoner. A search of a Daughters of the American Revolution directory, some state death records and the 1930 U.S. Census provides a few more details. She was born June 28, 1884 and claimed descent from Abraham Alexander, who was chairman of the Meck Dec meeting (if you believe such a meeting occurred). She married Charles B. Wagoner and lived in Concord. She’s listed as a teacher at a private school in the 1930 Census. Her husband is listed as the president of a bank. Janie P. Wagoner, as she called herself later in life, died on September 17, 1975.
May I add to the conversation? I am a believer in the existence of the Meck Dec, and hope that maybe someday someone finds a copy.
Something that one of my instructors at UNC Charlotte told me may or may not be true, but someone at Salem wrote in his journal about someone (Captain Jack?) was on the way (or on the way back) to Philadelphia with a copy of the document. I wonder has anyone looked at that angle.
Mr. Blythe, I wish you could visit the school that was named for your relative in Huntersville, NC the principal would love to find out more about him.
Coming from a supposed hornets nest of rebellion, that British-American hybrid flag seems like an unlikely creation….
I’m seeing this a bit belatedly (such is the life of a Mecklenburger on May 20th that the blogs just did not get read for a few days), but will make sure the problem with the music link gets looked into. Thanks!
A badge and postcard from that day.