African Americans in American Revolution (Ishmael Titus), Charlotte
The bronze Ishmael Titus plaque is set into the sidewalk near the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture. The upper left quadrant of the plaque holds an engraved bust of Titus. The inscription is next to and below this depiction. Along the bottom are logos for the Mecklenburg Historical Association, the Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte Liberty Walk and The May 20th Society.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
AT LEAST 5,000 AFRICAN-AMERICANS, / BOTH FREE AND ENSLAVED, SERVED IN / THE CONTINENTAL ARMY, STATE TROOPS, / NAVIES, AND MILITIAS. A SUBSTANTIAL / NUMBER OF THESE AFRICAN-AMERICAN /PATRIOTS CAME FROM NORTH CAROLINA, / SOUTH CAROLINA AND VIRGINIA. SOME / SERVED AS BODY SERVANTS AND / LABORERS, BUT THE MAJORITY SERVED / AS FRONT LINE TROOPS, INCLUDING / NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS. AFRICAN- /AMERICANS ALSO SERVED IN THE BRITISH / ARMY AND NAVY. THERE WAS NO / SEGREGATION IN THE MILITARY DURING / THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, AND TROOPS / OF EUROPEAN, AFRICAN AND NATIVE / AMERICAN ANCESTRY SERVED SIDE-BY-SIDE AND SUFFERED THE / SAME HARDSHIPS.
AN EXAMPLE OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIER FROM MECKLENBURG COUNTY IS / DEMPSEY REED, A “FREE NEGRO” WHO SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR A MECKLENBURG / RESIDENT NAMED NATHANIEL HARRIS. REED WAS WOUNDED IN BATTLE AND RECEIVED / PAYMENT FOR HIS MILITARY SERVICE FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN 1783.
ANOTHER LOCAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIER WAS ISHMAEL TITUS, A SLAVE FROM / ROWAN COUNTY WHO SERVED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR HIS MASTER, LAWRENCE ROSS. / TITUS FOUGHT IN THE BATTLES OF KINGS MOUNTAIN, GUILFORD COURTHOUSE AND / DEEP RIVER. HE WAS GRANTED HIS FREEDOM AFTER THE WAR AND DIED AT THE AGE OF / 110 IN MASSACHUSETTS.
Titus bust caption: ISHMAEL TITUS BY THOMAS KELLY PAULEY
City of Charlotte
May 20, 2015
35.223660 , -80.848130 View in Geobrowse
Moss, Bobby G. and Scoggins, Michael C. African-American Patriots In The Southern Campaign Of The American Revolution (Blacksburg, SC: Scotia-Hibernia Press, 2004), vi, vii
“Black American Hero of the Battle of Kings Mountain,” The Urban News (Asheville, NC), August 11, 2012, (accessed May 25, 2017) Link
“Charlotte Liberty Walk Dedication of Ishmael Titus Plaque,” Facebook, (accessed May 24, 2017) Link
“Charlotte Liberty Walk,” Mecklenburg Historical Association, (accessed February 22, 2017) Link
Mecklenburg Historical Association and The May 20th Society
The Ishmael Titus plaque is part of the Charlotte Liberty Walk (marker 2), a public/private partnership celebrating the revolutionary history of the City of Charlotte. This 1 mile trail dedicated in 2012 links important sites in the revolutionary history of Charlotte. Markers along the walk include the Liberty Hall (Marker 4); Battle of Charlotte (Marker 1); Indian Trading Path (Marker 3); British Encampment plaque (Marker 6), and Queen Charlotte Walks in Her Garden sculpture (Marker 12).
The memorial plaque is located near the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, at 551 S Tryon St, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
The plaque is set into the sidewalk by a fenced parking lot.
Guided and self-guided "Charlotte Liberty Walk" historic tours.