I'm sure many of you have been to Brevard Court (where the French Quarter is) or have driven on Brevard Street here in Charlotte. But have you ever wondered where the name comes from or who these familiar thoroughfares are named after? This week's Fact Friday comes from the Charlotte Liberty Walk website.
Dr. Brevard was a prominent local patriot. Although blind in one eye, he attended college in Princeton, New Jersey, trained as a doctor, and taught at Queen’s College (the original) where he was also a Trustee. He married Martha, the daughter of Thomas and Susanna Polk and had a hand in writing both the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Mecklenburg Resolves. He served as an officer and later as a surgeon during the Revolution and was captured at the fall of Charleston in 1780. As an officer he could have signed a parole and been sent home, but he chose to stay on in Charleston to minister to the American prisoners. In doing so, he contracted the same fever that killed so many of his fellow soldiers. He returned to Mecklenburg where he died aged only 35 (or 37 depending on the source).
According to the Mecklenburg Historical Association, Brevard’s service in the effort to achieve American independence also includes the following: Justice of the Peace (1776), participation in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge (1776), signer of the Criticism of Confiscation Act (1779), and election to the United States Congress (1781). His death in July 1781 (thought to be at Alexandriana, the home of John McKnitt Alexander) prevented him from assuming his place in Congress. Although there is some evidence that he was buried in Charlotte at the site of Queens’s Museum College (aka Liberty Hall), his grave cannot be located.
Marker 16 on the Charlotte Liberty Walk indicates close proximity to where he lived in 1775.
Read more about Dr. Ephraim Brevard here.
Until next week!
MHA News, Volume 14, No. 2. Mecklenburg Historical Association, May 2016.
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“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin