Council Oak Marker, Morganton
The memorial consists of an unadorned rectangular bronze plaque attached to a granite shaft embedded in the ground. The oak tree commemorated by this marker was destroyed by a storm some years before the marker was placed. That exact location was then lost to memory, but was near the location of the marker. A young oak tree, to replace the one long gone stands behind the marker.
NEAR THIS SPOT STOOD THE OAK / WHICH SHELTERED THE BRAVE MEN / WHO HERE MET IN COUNCIL / SEPT. 30, 1780 / AND MARCHED ON TO GLORIOUS VICTORY / AT KING’S MOUNTAIN. / ERECTED BY COUNCIL OAK CHAPTER D.A.R. / SEPT. 30, 1914
September 30, 1914
35.753650 , -81.716550 View in Geobrowse
Jones, Randell. A Guide to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, "Council Oak Marker,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, (accessed January 25, 2016) Link
“1780 Council Oak,” The History Museum of Burke County, http://www.thehistorymuseumofburke.org, (accessed January 21, 2016) Link
“Council Oak To Be Marked,” The News-Herald, (Morganton, NC), September 24, 1914, 4
“Over The Mountains and Back Again,” Past In The Present, pastinthepresent.wordpress.com, November 1, 2011, (accessed January 25, 2016) Link
“Quaker Meadows,” Battle of Kings Mountain, http://bkmnp.com, (accessed January 21, 2016) Link
“The March From Sycamore Shoals,” National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov, (accessed January 25, 2016) Link
“Unveiling of Council Oak Marker,” The News-Herald, (Morganton, NC), October 1, 1914, 3
Council Oak Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution
The dedication, which was held on the anniversary of the council, was described as simple but
appropriate. The marker was presented by Mrs. J Ernest Irvin, regent of the Council Oak Chapter
D.A.R., and accepted by Mrs. William N. Reynolds, the State regent. Others involved with the
ceremony were Mrs. A.C. Avery and Mrs. J. Lindsay Patterson who read a paper on the
importance of the tree's history that had been prepared by Mr. W.C. Irvin. Two children, Annie
Leslie and Corrine Boger, pulled the draw strings to unveil the marker and patriotic songs were
sung as led by trombonist T.J. Robertson.
Follows is an excerpt from Mr. Irvin’s paper: “At this moment, when on the battle fields of Europe, millions of men are in the death grapple, either because of the overweening ambition of the autocrat, or the centuries old hatred of the Slav and Teuton, or the thirst of the Gaul for revenge… it is inspiring to turn to the story of this devoted band… who fought, not for spoils or hate or glory, but only to escape oppression and for that liberty of action and freedom of conscience that has made this country of ours the greatest, the strongest and the most glorious of all nations on earth.”
In the lead up to the battle of King’s Mountain, over 900 men from Tennessee, under the command of Isaac Shelby and John Sevier, were met by over 350 men led by Benjamin Cleveland from Wilkes County and Joseph Winston from Surry County and encamped at the Quaker Meadows near present day Morganton. On the evening of September 30, 1780 these leaders, all colonels, met under the wide-branching oak tree commemorated by this marker to discuss their plans.
The memorial is located at the intersection of State Road 1419 and Hwy. 181 North in Morganton, NC. It sits in a grass covered area at a street corner on the edge of a restaurant parking lot.
The marker stands on a grassy lawn under a shady tree.