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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Col. Thomas Wade, Lilesville

  • Type

    Plaque

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

    Historic Military Figures

    Colonial History

    Revolutionary War, 1775-1783

  • City

    Lilesville

  • County

    Anson

  • Description

    A bronze plaque attached to a limestone rock marks the site of the Mount Pleasant courthouse which was the original seat of Anson County and also marks the grave of Colonel Thomas Wade a prominent Revolutionary War soldier and state legislator. The stone to which the plaque is attached is also called “Indian Execution Rock,” (see subject notes). In 2012 a small granite block was placed next to the rock with a corrected date for Thomas Wade’s death. (Note: the plaque states that Wade was born in Anson County in 1720, some records indicated his birth as 1722 and possibly in Craven County with his arrival in Anson in 1770)

    Images: Plaque

  • Inscription

    1928 Plaque: BURIAL PLACE OF / COLONEL THOMAS WADE, / BORN AND REARED NEAR THIS SITE, / 1720-1768. / FIFTY YARDS EAST WAS LOCATED / ANSON COUNTY’S FIRST COURT HOUSE.

    THIS STONE IS TRADITIONALLY KNOWN AS / “THE INDIAN EXECUTION ROCK.” / PLACED BY THE CRAIGHEAD-DULAP & THOMAS WADE CHAPTERS, / DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, / APRIL 28, 1928.

    2012 Plaque: CORRECTED DATE OF / THOMAS WADE’S DEATH 1786 / PLACED BY / CRAIGHEAD-WADE CHAPTER DAR / 2012

  • Custodian

    Ingram family

  • Dedication Date

    Original marker: April 28, 1928. Correction marker: April 16, 2012

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.994680 , -79.920790 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Barefoot, Daniel W. Touring North Carolina’s Revolutionary War Sites (Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher, 1998), 156-158

      Bruney, Sandra Z. “The Importance of Being Accurate,” Definition of a Dream Blog, April 17, 2012, (accessed March 22, 2017) Link

      Dalton, Carrol E. “Wade, Thomas,” NCPedia.org, (accessed November 13, 2016) Link

      Medley, Mary Louise. History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750-1976 (Charlotte, NC: Heritage Printers, Inc. , 1976), 11

      Wade, Thomas. "Letter from Thomas Wade to Abner Nash Wade, Thomas, 1720-1786 June 28, 1780. William Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 14 (Raleigh, N.C.: P. M. Hale, Printer to the State, 1886), pp. 865-866. Documenting the American South. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007. Link

      Wade, Thomas. "Letter from Thomas Wade to Richard Caswell Wade, Thomas, 1720-1786 September 05, 1777. William Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 11 (Raleigh, N.C.: P. M. Hale, Printer to the State, 1886), p. 607. Documenting the American South. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007. Link

      Wade, Thomas. "Resolutions by inhabitants of Anson County concerning resistance to Parliamentary taxation and the Provincial Congress of North Carolina Wade, Thomas, 1720-1786; Et Al. August 18, 1774. William Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 9 (Raleigh, N.C.: P. M. Hale, Printer to the State, 1886), pp. 1032-1034. Documenting the American South. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007. Link

      “A History of Anson Court House, North Carolina,” Carolana.com, (accessed November 13, 2016) Link

      “DAR Corrects 84-Year Old Error,” The Express (Wadesboro, NC), April 25, 2012, 8

  • Public Site

    No

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite, limestone

  • Sponsors

    1928 Plaque: Craighead-Dunlap and Thomas Wade Chapters Daughters of the American Revolution. 2012 Plaque: Craighead-Wade Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution

  • Nickname

    "Indian Execution Rock"

  • Subject Notes

    Tradition holds that the “Indian Execution Rock” was used by the Catawba Indians to behead their enemies. Different versions of the legend have it either oozing blood on hot, humid days or on rainy days. The phenomenon is most likely caused by a vein of iron running through the rock.

    On April 28, 1768, 500 Regulators of Anson County forcibly removed the colonial magistrates appointed by Governor William Tyron from the bench and held a public discussion of injustices in the exaction of fees and taxes. They then sent the governor a petition demanding the election of county officers by popular vote, because “no people have a right to be taxed but by the consent of themselves or their delegates.”

  • Location

    The marker is located on private property and largely inaccessible. To reach the marker one has to travel north approximately 2.5 miles on S.R. 1744 from its intersection with S.R. 1730. One them turns right onto a dirt logging road, travel half a mile before taking a left fork to arrive at the Anson County Law Enforcement Clubhouse. Nearby, in the surrounding wilderness is the memorial.

  • Landscape

    The stone with commemorative plaque is located in what is now an isolated, undeveloped wilderness area.

  • Death Space

    Yes

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