Notes on Ezra Alexander
(1) Ezra Alexander by Miss Rose
Amanda Coffey, Charlotte, NC 1956 (Descendent of this Signer, through his son, Augustus)
(2) The Six Alexanders Who Signed the Mecklenburg
Declaration of Independence
Ezra Alexander, one of 27 brave, true men who signed the
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775, by this memorable act alone
created a sense of honor and a love of country in the hearts of the hundreds of his
descendents not so freely comprehended by the average person.
Ezra Alexander was born February 26, 1740 in either
Frederick or Cecil County, MD. He is identified in the will of Arthur Alexander
(Mecklenburg County, NC) as the brother of Abraham Alexander, therefore making him also
the son of Elias and Sophie Alexander.
In the year 1754, with other members of his family, he
came to Mecklenburg County, NC-then a mere wilderness, un-named and inhabited by roving
bands of Indians. While living in Mecklenburg County, NC in 1763, he was appointed
guardian of his nephew, Elias the son of Arthur Alexander. He was granted several
hundred acres of land on McAlpine and Sugar Creeks and established his home not far from
the present town of Pineville with the Polks, Barnetts, and Smarts among his
neighbors. He was appointed an over-seer of roads in 1778.
Ezra served in the Continental Army and saw considerable
action during the Revolutionary War. He was an active member of the Committee of Safety
and engaged in the battle against the Tories at Ramseurs Mill. He also fought
against them in Lincoln County and arose to Captain of his regiment. He was at the Battle
of Hanging Rock and is remembered by history as a patriot and noted soldier.
Upon his death 46 years later on July 6, 1800, he was
laid away in the cemetery of the Ezekiel Polk family near Pineville, NC.
This old cemetery, as well as Ezras burial place
had long been forgotten for 100 years and more at least until one day about 1950 when
squirrel hunters discovered it buried deep in the woods near Big Sugar Creek about one
mile off the old Pineville Road, seven miles south of Charlotte on land now owned by J.W.
Beside him, as if in one grave lay his wife, Mary Polk
Alexander, daughter of Ezekiel Polk, his neighbor and friend, but Mary did not pass away
until September 6, 1814, age 70 years. The double grave stone is beautifully carved,
evidently imported from a Northern stone cutter, and bears in addition to their names, the
"Farewell, Flesh, with all thy was
Above the Skies, to see my Fathers throne."
Ezras will is dated February 16, 1798 and affords
ample proof of his economic success and his prominence in the county. It is on file in the
Courthouse, Charlotte, NC Book of Wills A and mentions the following children as heirs:
Eleazer, James, Dorcus, Abdon, Augustus, Paris, Redempta and Polly Ann.
Abstract of the Will of Ezra Alexander, Mecklenburg
County, NC Book A, page 14 dated 16 Feb 1798 and probated July 1800.
"Being in perfect senses, I give to my wife a bed
and furniture, chest, spinning wheel, saddle, $24 annum, dresses and kitchen furniture
except a cauldron; to my son Eleazer $60 in the form of a note from him to me; to my son
James Alexander, a parcel of land on the east side of Little Sugar Creek; to my daughter
Dorcas Alexander $5; to my son James Alexander $60; to my son Augustus all my land
adjacent to William Alexander; and to my son Paris Alexander the remainder of my
plantation on which I now live. If Augustus fails to convey to Paris all the land held by
him within my enclosure and that adjacent to William Alexander, then he shall forfeit to
Paris an equal amount bequeathed to him lying most contiguous to my improvements. I give
to each of my daughters, Redemption and Polly Ann, a bed and furniture, $250, a spinning
wheel and a saddle. Any surplus is to be divided between sons Augustus and Paris. Sons
James, Augustus and Paris shall each pay my beloved wife $8 per year as long as she shall
live. Executors: son James Alexander and friend Ezekiel Polk. Witnesses: Sam and William
The inventory of his estate (dated July 30, 1800), an
account of the sales of the estate (August 19, 1800) and a map showing division of his
lands (October 1800) are to be found in the Department of Archives and History in Raleigh,
On May 22, 1954, the Mecklenburg Declaration of
Independence Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled a marker to him
in recognition of his services to Mecklenburg County, but placed it beside the grave of
his son, Augustus in Sharon Presbyterian Church Cemetery due to the inaccessibility of the
Polk Cemetery near the Big Sugar Creek.