Charlotte’s turn-of-the-century celebrity
Plus: New weekend crossword; Top news of the week — District attorney asks SBI to investigate councilman's business ownership — Possible setback in Atrium Health merger — Asian Corner Mall land sold
Good morning! Today is Saturday, September 17, 2022. You’re reading The Charlotte Ledger’s Weekend Edition.
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Anna Jackson, widow of the famously named Confederate general, became a symbol of Civil War nostalgia; welcomed ex-soldiers on Trade Street
Editor’s note: You see their names on street signs or parks, but who were some of the big-name people from decades ago who shaped Charlotte? They have fascinating stories, and for the next few Saturdays, we’re sharing them with you.
by John Short
In modern times, Charlotte’s most famous celebrities are typically the professional athletes that make their homes in Charlotte while playing for one of the local sports teams. And sometimes a reality show star of the moment.
But at the turn of the 20th century, there was no bigger celebrity in Charlotte than Anna Morrison Jackson, a living symbol of the defeated Confederate States of America.
Anna Jackson was the brown-eyed widow of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and made her home in Charlotte from 1873 until her death in 1915. Known as “the Widow of the Confederacy,” Anna would be visited by Confederate veterans from all over the South who wanted to pay homage to her — and to the legacy of her husband at her home on what is now West Trade Street.
Anna was born on her family’s land near Lincolnton, on the Catawba River plantation called Cottage Home. Anna’s father was Robert Hall Morrison, a respected Presbyterian minister, and one of the founders of Davidson College, where he served as the first president of the school.
After growing up at Cottage Home, Anna traveled to Winston-Salem to study at Salem Academy from 1847 to 1849. Anna would frequently visit her sister Isabella in Lexington, Va., where Isabella’s husband was a professor at Washington University (now Washington & Lee). During her time in Lexington, Anna met Maj. Thomas Jackson, who was a professor of natural philosophy and artillery tactics at the Virginia Military Institute, also in Lexington.
At this time, Jackson — who wouldn’t pick up his “Stonewall” nickname until the Civil War more than a decade later — was engaged to another woman, Elinor, whom he would marry and sadly would die during childbirth in the fall of 1854, shortly after their first anniversary. Two years after Elinor’s death, Jackson returned from an extended tour of Europe and proposed to Anna Morrison. While the proposal was a surprise, Anna accepted, and the couple married in 1857 at Cottage Home and later settled in Lexington.
In 1861, as the Confederacy seceded, Jackson was chosen to lead the cadets of VMI, and Anna returned to Charlotte to be closer to her family during the war. During the years of the conflict, Anna would take trips from Charlotte to visit her husband on the battlefield. It was said that she did not approve of his nickname “Stonewall,” which was purportedly given to him by a superior who admired his determination and said, during the First Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas), “Look, men! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall!”
“Stonewall” Jackson died in May 1863, after being wounded by his own men, in what would prove to be a mortal blow for the Confederacy.
For the decade after his death, Anna lived with her father at Cottage Home. During that time, after the war, Charlotte leaders voted to name several uptown streets after Confederate generals — including one they called “Stonewall Street.” (It was renamed this year to “Brooklyn Village Avenue.”) Anna eventually moved to Charlotte for better schooling for her and Stonewall’s daughter, Julia. Anna would live along West Trade Street, near what is now the federal courthouse building in uptown.
After Varina Davis, the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, died in 1906, Anna would inherit the mantle of “The First Lady of the South,” which only increased her significance in the lore of the Confederacy and raised her stature as an icon of the defeated South. In addition to receiving Confederate soldiers who sought to pay their respects, Anna devoted her time in Charlotte to the First Presbyterian Church, where she was a prominent member, as well as the Mecklenburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Anna also published books about Stonewall Jackson and her own memoirs.
Anna Jackson died in Charlotte in 1915 at the age of 83. At her funeral, she was given full military honors, and she was taken to Lexington to be buried with her husband. Today in uptown, a historical marker commemorating the site of her home sits at 306 W. Trade St.
John Short is a freelance writer and co-host of The Charlotte Podcast who loves digging up Charlotte’s past and pondering its future. Say hey when you see him on the streetcar.
Other recent stories in the Ledger’s “Historical Heavyweights” series:
“‘King’ Hagler led the Catawba Tribe and juggled relationships with new settlers and warring nations” (Sept. 10)
“Henry L. McCrorey: He built an influential westside neighborhood and solidified Charlotte’s historically Black college” (Aug. 27)
Today’s supporting sponsors are Topsail Wealth Management, which provides clients with a premier wealth management partnership. With a high-value and low-cost approach, clients minimize costs and keep more of their wealth. …
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This week’s Charlotte-themed crossword: ‘Name change’
It’s time for our weekly crossword — our 27th puzzle! It’s a crossword with Charlotte clues. Who needs those big national too-big-for-their-britches crosswords that fail to have clues like this week’s 11 Across: “Grocery store on The Plaza whose storefront features Abraham Lincoln” (10 letters).
Ledger crosswords are constructed by Chris King, edited by Tim Whitmire and presented by CXN Advisory. Enjoy this week’s edition:
.PDF (suitable for download and printing):
.PUZ (suitable for use on tablets and computers with Across Lite app):
For 26 other crosswords with local clues, check out our dedicated Charlotte Ledger Crossword page.
You might be interested in these Charlotte events
Events submitted by readers to The Ledger’s new events board:
Thursday: Gentrification, displacement: What’s behind these potent words?, 12-1 p.m., Virtual. Join UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to talk through what gentrification and displacement mean, how to be more precise with the language, and why it matters.
Oct. 2: Swim Across America - Charlotte, 12-3:30 p.m., Lake Wylie at Camp Thunderbird. “Make Waves to Fight Cancer” at this charity open water swim benefiting local research at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children's Hospital. Swimmers and volunteers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to register.
◼️ Check out the full Ledger events board.
➡️ List your event on the Ledger events board.
This week in Charlotte: SBI asked to investigate city councilman; Tim Newman released from jail; Chick-Fil-A comes down in Matthews; Asian Corner Mall sells
On Saturdays, The Ledger sifts through the local news of the week and links to the top articles — even if they appeared somewhere else. We’ll help you get caught up. That’s what Saturdays are for.
New City Council committees: (WBTV) Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles announced the new Charlotte City Council committees, which will meet for the first time on Oct. 3.
SBI asked to investigate councilman: (WFAE) The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office asked the State Bureau of Investigation to determine if City Council member James Mitchell can continue serving on the city council if he owns over 10% of R.J. Leeper Construction, a prominent construction company that does work with the city.
New aviation museum: (WBTV) A groundbreaking for the new 105,000 s.f. Carolinas Aviation Museum will be held Sept. 27, and the plans include over 45 historic aircraft, flight simulators, immersive multimedia, interactive exhibits and STEM education programs.
Tim Newman released from jail: (Ledger) Former uptown Charlotte power broker Tim Newman was released from jail last week after a plea deal that resolves the major charges against him that stemmed from threats to blow up a dam outside of Charleston in 2020.
Chick-fil-A comes down in Matthews: (Axios Charlotte) Chick-fil-A tore down its building on Independence Boulevard in Matthews to replace it with an updated one, which is expected to open in spring 2023.
Houses sell below list price: Mecklenburg’s housing market continued to cool in August, with the typical closing price of houses falling below the original list price for the first time since February 2021, according to data from the Canopy Realtor Association.
Setback for Atrium merger: (Biz Journal, subscriber-only) Atrium Health’s planned merger with Advocate Aurora Health could be in jeopardy after an Illinois regulator rejected and then postponed a decision on the proposed combination.
New Belk CEO: (Observer) Belk named Don Hendricks as its new CEO, which makes him the company’s third leader since last summer.
Asian Corner Mall sold: (Observer, subscriber-only) Charlotte developer Beauxwright has closed on another portion of the Asian Corner Mall at East Sugar Creek Road and North Tryon Street.
CMS addresses low reading scores: (WFAE) The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education met this week to discuss plans for progress on its goal to raise the low reading scores of Black and Hispanic third-graders to 36% this year and 50% by 2024.
How to ask for a raise: (Ledger 🔒) Asking for a raise is one of the more nerve-wracking tasks an employee can face, but we round up helpful tips and advice from the people with the raise-granting power — bosses.
Readying for the Presidents Cup: (Observer) Quail Hollow Club President Johnny Harris takes the Observer’s Scott Fowler on a spin around the souped-up club ahead of hosting the Presidents Cup and reflects on the transformations the club has gone through to host major golf events.
On the front lines of monkeypox vaccine: (Washington Post) The Washington Post follows a Mecklenburg County Health Department worker who meets resistance and skepticism while trying to vaccinate gay Black men in Charlotte against monkeypox.
From the Ledger family of newsletters
New gambling room in King’s Mountain: Take a look inside the new sports gambling room at the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, which may not be the place to hang out but delivers on its promise to let people bet on sports.
New brunch spot coming to Matthews: Ruby Sunshine, a New Orleans-inspired chain for brunch and cocktails, will take over the gas station at the corner of Trade and John streets in downtown Matthews.
CMS touts the ‘Crunchburger’: Some Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schoolers got a chuckle out of a social media post boasting the “Crunchburger” as a school lunch menu item — it’s a hamburger topped with Funyun chips.
50 years of fine china: Charlotte bridal registry boutique John Dabbs, Ltd. opened in 1972, and the continued tradition of couples registering of fine china has kept the store thriving in Myers Park for 50 years.
Charlotte Latin lawsuit: There’s a new development in the lawsuit filed against Charlotte Latin School in April by the parent of two Charlotte Latin students who allege that the school broke its contract by expelling their children after the parents met with school leaders to discuss their disapproval of the school’s political activism.
The future of a Charlotte interchange: In the latest installment of the Ledger’s “You Ask, We Answer” feature, we track down a rendering of the interchange expansion that’s in progress at I-485 and Johnston Road in south Charlotte, which shows the upcoming toll lanes as well.
Robert Eichcorn, Jr., was a beloved and lifelong resident of Holy Angels, a nonprofit that serves those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and he lived in one of the organization’s first group homes.
Southern food writer Hanna Raskin of The Food Section newsletter brings us a look at the problem of cars crashing into restaurants, and experts debate what to do about it.
Charlotte FC radio color broadcaster Jessica Charman sat down with Ledger soccer writer Carroll Walton for a podcast episode to discuss Charman’s path from playing soccer in England to calling Charlotte FC games in the U.S.
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Executive editor: Tony Mecia; Managing editor: Cristina Bolling; Staff writer: Lindsey Banks; Contributing editor: Tim Whitmire, CXN Advisory; Contributing photographer/videographer: Kevin Young, The 5 and 2 Project