Jefferson Davis Plaque, Charlotte
The marker is brass and is embedded in concrete. It is approximately 28”x10.”
JEFFERSON DAVIS WAS STANDING / HERE WHEN INFORMED OF / LINCOLN’S DEATH APRIL 18, 1865
Economic Development Association of Charlotte
35.226350 , -80.844510 View in Geobrowse
"Jefferson Davis Was Here," The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), April 05, 1979
"Jefferson Davis and the Assassination," University of Missouri at Kansas-City, UMKC School of Law Link
Daoust, Tom, ed. "Jefferson Davis Informed of Lincoln's Death Marker," The Historical Marker Database, January 21, 2011, (accessed February 16, 2014) Link
Helmer, Jodi. Moon Charlotte Handbook, (Chico, California: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2010), Chapter 2
Reed, Ted. "Obama Will Be Renominated in the Last Confederate Capital," The Street (New York, NY), August 08, 2012, (accessed June 13, 2014) Link
Vartan, Vartanig G. "Charlotte, N.C., Thriving as a Center of Distribution," The New York Times (New York, NY), December 12, 1964, (accessed June 13, 2014) Link
This marker was created in order to commemorate the location where Jefferson Davis was standing when he was informed of President Lincoln’s death. At the time, Davis was giving a speech and was handed a telegram regarding Lincoln’s death. Although delivered on April 18, 1865, the telegram incorrectly stated the date of Lincoln’ death at April 11th, rather than April 15th, following his assassination on the evening of April 14th.
(From Newspaper Clipping housed in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Carolina Room Archives) “Jeff Davis was Here,” Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), April 5th, 1979, 2C
Take a walk in the downtown area and you may get a brief history lesson. At the corner of South Tryon and Fourth Streets, in front of City National Bank, there’s a plaque inlaid in the sidewalk that reads “Jefferson Davis was standing here when informed of Lincoln’s death April 18, 1865”
Any good southerner knows Davis was president of the Confederacy during the War between the States. But they may not know the story behind the plaque.
Edwards Waddell, who’s working on a book about historical markers and monuments in Charlotte, said Davis and his cabinet stripped in Charlotte as they fled Richmond, VA after Union troops overran the Confederate Capital. Davis had some trouble finding accommodations here because Union troops threatened to burn the home of anyone who housed Davis. But a man named Lewis F Bates who had a reputation for being a non-conformist, decided to take in Davis.
When he arrived at Bates’ house, Davis spoke briefly to the crowd and, while speaking, received a telegram notifying him of Abraham Lincoln’s death.
Waddell said Davis reacted with “horrified disbelief” and handed it to Col. William Johnson to read to the crowd. The plaque marking the incident was probably placed by city workers about 30 years later, Waddell said.
The plaque is located at the intersection of South Tryon St. and Fourth St. in front of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Charlotte’s Uptown area. It is approximately 300 ft. from the Last Meeting of the Confederate Cabinet marker. There are eight other similar markers within five miles of this site.
The plaque is on a busy sidewalk near an intersection in downtown Charlotte.