Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Thaddeus Lincoln Tate, Charlotte

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Historic Philanthropic Figures

    Historic Civic Figures

    Historic African American Figures

    African American Monuments

  • Creator

    Ed Dwight, Denver Colorado, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The bronze statue to Thaddeus Lincoln Tate is taller than life-size and weighs over 700 pounds. Tate is wearing a three piece business suit of early 20th century style with a pen or pencil in the left breast pocket. His proper left hand is raised; hand pointing forward and his head is held high looking in the same direction. The proper right hand is to his side holding a portfolio. The sculptor said the pose with raised a hand is to suggest that Tate is speaking to future generations. The Tate statue was the sixth of proposed 21 statues along Charlottes’ Trail of History, and first of an African-American, honoring people who contributed to the evolution of Charlotte.

  • Dedication Date

    October 8, 2015

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.211970 , -80.836350 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Series

    Trail of History, Charlotte

  • Supporting Sources

      "Thaddeus Lincoln Tate, Business and Civic Leader," The Historical Marker Database,, (accessed July 25, 2023) Link

      "Thaddeus Lincoln Tate,” Trail of History,, (accessed June 30, 2023) Link

      Crump, Steve. “Early African-American Business Pioneer Honored With Statue,” WBTV, October 8, 2015, (accessed June 30, 2023) Link

      Price, Mark. “City History-Charlotte’s Trail of History to Honor Black Business Leader,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), October 6, 2015

      Shopeshire, Fred and Lee, Hank. “Black History Icons in Charlotte: Thaddeus Tate,” WCNC, February 22, 2021, (accessed June 30, 2023) Link

      “Ed Dwight Studios,” Ed Dwight Studios,, (accessed June 30, 2023) Link

      “Thaddeus Lincoln Tate (1965-1951)," The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story,, (accessed July 25, 2023) Link

      “Trail of History-Thaddeus Tate,” YouTube,, (accessed July 6, 2023) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    Trail of History Inc., Wells Fargo Foundation, AME Zion Church

  • Monument Cost

    $250,000, ($225,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation and $25,000 from AME Zion Church)

  • Subject Notes

    From the 1890s into the 1940s Tate operated the whites only Uptown Barber Shop located in the Central Hotel at Trade and Tryon Streets. During this time most barbers in white southern communities were African-American. This gave them a high profile and often led to important leadership roles in the African-American community. Tate was one such leader. Tate’s customers in the segregated barber shop included local civic leaders such as Governor Cameron Morrison, department store owners William Henry Belk and J.B. Ivey and real estate developer Edward Dilworth Latta. Tate leveraged the relationships he developed with these men and others to press for improved services for African Americans. He helped found the Brevard Street branch of the public library, the first branch of a public library in the south for African-Americans. He also helped found a YMCA for African-Americans and the Morrison Training School for youth. Tate and other African-American leaders created the Afro-American Mutual Insurance Company that employed African-Americans and provided services to a community largely ignored by white-owned companies. Tate also became a director of an investment company that built the Mecklenburg Investment Company Building (still standing) that was the first office building in Charlotte for African-American owned businesses. The building held a pharmacy, doctor and lawyer offices and a third floor meeting hall.

    The sculptor Ed Dwight of Denver, Colorado is also a ground-breaking African-American of note. He is a former Air Force test pilot and was NASA’s first African-American astronaut candidate.

  • Location

    The statue is located on the Trail of History in front of the Metropolitan center near uptown Charlotte, NC. This statue is one of 21 existing or planned statues along the trail, the first of which was The Spirit of Mecklenburg.

  • Landscape

    The Trail of History near uptown Charlotte follows the Little Sugar Creek greenway. The greenway runs four miles along the small stream lined with trees, shrubbery, flowering plants and places for seating.

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