Genealogy by Martha

Cross - Love - Culpepper - Herron - Mordecai - Shelby - Cobb

Thomas Polk

Male Abt 1730 - 1794  (~ 64 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Thomas Polk 
    Born Abt 1730  Near Carlisle, Lancaster Co., PA (was Chester Co. until 1730) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Jun 1794  Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Old Settler's Cemetery in Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4993  MyTree
    Last Modified 18 Sep 2013 

    Father William J. Polk, I,   b. Abt 1700, White Hall, Sommerset Co., MD Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1754, Pineville, Mecklenburg Co, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 54 years) 
    Mother Margaret Nancy Taylor,   b. Abt 1705, Richmond Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jan 1763, Pineville, Mecklenburg Co, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Married Abt 1718  Carlisle, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3178  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Sarah Susannah Spratt 
    Married Abt 1750  Anson Co., N.C. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. William Polk,   b. NC Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 17 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F1763  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary Shelby,   b. Chesterfield Co., SC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1840, Union Co., NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1782 
    Children 
     1. Mary Polk
    Last Modified 17 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F4580  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1750 - Anson Co., N.C. Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 26 Jun 1794 - Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co, NC Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • 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.

      "William Polk is a descendant of a family who emigrated from Ireland
      about the year 1722 and settled on the eastern shore of Maryland;
      where they resided until about the year 1740 when they removed into
      the State of Pennsylvania and in the neighborhood of Carlisle, .
      Thomas the third son of William and Margaret..."
      (Source: Archibald D. Murphy, Papers of Archibald DeBow Murphy, Vol.
      II, article entitled "Autobiography of Colonel William Polk")

      "Thomas came with his father and mother, William and Margaret Taylor
      Polk, and probably his brothers and sisters to the Yadkin country in
      the western part of the province of NC about 1750. The family settled
      at Sugar Creek, a branch of the Catawba River, a few miles south of
      the present town of Charlotte, close to the South Carolina line. His
      neighbors and associates were, therefore, from both the NC and the SC
      colonies. Most were Scotch-Irish, but the Highland Scots were
      generously represented. The people in this area (except the Scots)
      were very animated in their resistance to British tyranny.
      On Sugar Creek, Thomas erected a large mill and also became an
      extensive planter, acquiring a large amount of land and a sufficient
      fortune to enable him to rear and educate the children born of his
      marriage to Susan Spratt in the simple but liberal style of a colonial
      gentleman. In PA he had received a good English Education and studied
      for the profession of surveying. In this occupation he was quite
      active for some years after moving to NC, often being assisted by his
      son, William, who also became a skilled surveyor.
      Thomas was a man of great force of character, keenness of vision in
      public affairs and an ardent advocate of right and justice. He took a
      leading position among his neighbors and was consisted on important
      matters. He led the opposition of his neighbors to the officers of
      the Crown who, aided by several of the most influential members of the
      community, attempted to enforce what Thomas Polk and his supporters
      considered the unjust demands of Lord George Selwyn's agent. The
      question, at first one of Colonial jurisdiction, became finally one of
      price to be exacted of tenants for lands of the Selwyn grant already
      taken up and occupied by them in due form. This rather personal
      affair, known locally as the 'Sugar Creek War'. " (Source: First
      Families of America, Vol. 7, pg. 483)

      About 1750, Thomas Polk was an original settler in the area now known as Charlotte. At that time, this area was in Anson County. Polk was a surveyor of the Granville Line (Williams 2010). He represented this area in the North Carolina General Assembly (Williams 2010). In 1763, he built a courthouse and jail as the minimum requirement for a new county. Polk named the new county seat Charlotte in Mecklenburg County in honor of the new Queen Charlotte from Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a German principality. In 1768, the General Assembly passed a law creating Mecklenburg County with Charlotte as its courthouse (Preyer 1987, 63).
      1750sā€“1760s
      Before the Revolutionary War, most residents of Mecklenburg County were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who had emigrated from Pennsylvania during 1740ā€“1770. Earlier, they or their parents emigrated from Ulster, Ireland. They were Presbyterians. In the part of Anson County that became Mecklenburg County, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians established the following churches: Rocky River about 1750, Sugar Creek 1755, Steele Creek 1760, Hopewell 1762, Popular Tent 1764, Centre 1765, Providence 1767, and Philadelphia 1770. (Blythe and Brockmann 1961, 195).