Jane Parks McDowell Marker, Charlotte
The McDowell marker is an arch top granite tablestone on a single base with a total height of about 5-feet. The marker has a finished face with rusticated sides and rusticated base. Above the inscription is the McDowell family coat of arms and moto. For riding to warn American forces of British troop movements during the Revolutionary War Jane Parks McDowell has been called the “Feminine Paul Revere.”
Images: View of the marker with the Jane Parks McDowell house | Rear view
1780 / IN MEMORIAM / JANE PARKS / WIFE OF / CAPT. JOHN MCDOWELL / WHO RODE 10 PERILOUS MILES TO / NOTIFY AMERICAN CAMP OF BRITISH / EVACUATION OF CHARLOTTE / ERECTED BY MECKLENBURG CHAPTER / D.A.R.
June 29, 1916
35.158400 , -80.921490 View in Geobrowse
Barefoot, Daniel W. Touring North Carolina’s Revolutionary War Sites (Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher, 1998)
Osman, Jonathan. “The Female Paul Revere Lived on S Tryon?” Jonathan & Associates, April 19, 2016, (accessed January 5, 2017) Link
“Hero of Mecklenburg Honored by Monument,” The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), June 29, 2016
“Save the Jane Parks McDowell House,” SaveTheMcDowellHouse.org, (accessed January 5, 2017) Link
“Tribute Paid to Valor of Mecklenburg Woman,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), June 30, 1916
Mecklenburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution
The dedication participants traveled by car to what was then the Steel Creek community outside of Charlotte. Mrs. J. Lenoir Chambers, Regent of the Mecklenburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, gave the introductory address. Mr. F. Brevard McDowell, a descendant of Jane Parks, gave the primary address which related the story of Jane Parks McDowell and her husband John during the Revolution. Upon accepting the monument on behalf of McDowell descendants and the public he said, “Such recognitions are too rarely accorded to women of the world who number more than one half of its population and who play such an important part in the life and activities of humanity. Women who assist in all the struggles and dangers should have a large share in the common glory.”
During the latter years of the American Revolution the area around Charlotte was a staging ground for the Continental Army who was up against Lord Cornwallis and the British Army. In October 1780 as a detachment of British troops was evacuating Charlotte they came across the McDowell plantation. As they set about pillaging the plantation, Mrs. McDowell pleaded for compassion. The British captain asked what her name was and Jane replied “McDowell.” The commanding officer replied “that’s my name. Where are you from?” She was from Scotland as was the captain who presumed they might be related. The pillaging was stopped and the soldiers left. Jane then saddled up her horse, grabbed her two-year old son and headed into the night to the Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church where there was an encampment of Continental forces. It was said to be a rainy night and her dawn arrival startled the Continental troops. Upon her news that the British were leaving the American troops gave chase to continue their assaults on the Redcoats.
The McDowell House has been unoccupied for a number of years, is boarded up and considered an eyesore. A development company proposed tearing the house down to make way for townhomes. This proposal initiated efforts to save the house. In September 2016 the developer promised to give the house and some land away if it could be restored in time for sales of the proposed townhomes to begin.
The marker is located a few feet off the sidewalk, in front of the historic McDowell House at 7001 S. Tryon Street, in Charlotte, NC. The marker is on private property but stands a few feet from the public sidewalk.
The marker is near the driveway to the right of the house’s front. It stands on the lawn, surrounded by trees and bushes.