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How did Charlotte, NC Get Its Name? What About the "Queen City" Nickname?

A Look at How Charlotte, NC (and Mecklenburg County) Got Their Name


How did Charlotte, NC Get Its Name? What About the

Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

If you've been around Charlotte for any length of time, you'll hear the term "Queen City" used to refer to this town. Why is Charlotte called "The Queen City" though?

There are about 30 cities in the United States the nickname "the queen city" for a variety of reasons. There are literally towns called "Queen City" in Iowa, Missouri and Texas. So what makes Charlotte special? And where did we get this nickname?

It turns out that the source of the city's nickname, the name of the city itself and the name of the county we're located in (Mecklenburg) all go back to the same source - Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The city of Charlottesville, Virginia can also be traced back to this queen.

At the time of Charlotte's founding, 1768, there was a large group of people called "loyalists" - colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown. A large group had settled in this area since it was the intersection of two Native American trading paths (what's now the intersection of Trade and Tryon right in the middle of Uptown).

There was a large enough group that they needed to build a courthouse and name the town. In an attempt to stay in King George III's good graces, they named this town "Charlotte Town" after his brand new wife - Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. That's where the city's name, nickname and the name of its home county all originate.

Despite the efforts of the Loyalists, Charlotte wouldn't find the king's favor. In fact, the city would soon find itself in the middle of the American Revolution. When the residents of this town learned about the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, they drafted what is now known as The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, or the Mecklenburg Resolves.

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