John McKnitt Alexander, Signer

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Capt. John McKnitt Alexander, Signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: New Munster, Cecil, Maryland, United States
Death: July 10, 1817 (80-88)
Mecklenburg, North Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery Huntersville Mecklenburg County North Carolina
Immediate Family:

Son of James "The Yeoman" Alexander and Margaret Abigail Alexander
Husband of Jane Bane
Father of William Bane Alexander,; Margaret Ramsey; Jane Bane Wallis; Abigail Bane Alexander; Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander and 1 other
Brother of Edith Alexander; Theophilus Alexander; Jemima Alexander, (A); Keziah Sharpe; Hezekiah South Alexander and 4 others
Half brother of Elizabeth Sample; Margaret McCoy (Alexander); Abigail Bradley, II; Josiah Alexander and Ezekiel (II) Alexander

Managed by: Pam Wilson, Curator
Last Updated:

About John McKnitt Alexander, Signer

DAR# A001210

Secretary of the Committee that drew up the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775

John McKnitt Alexander, the Signer, born 06 Jun 1733 in Cecil Co, MD; died 10 Jul 1817 in Mecklenburg Co, NC; married Jane Bane Sep 1762; born Abt. 1740; died 16 Mar 1789 in Mecklenburg Co, NC.

Received land grant on 29 April 1769 along Green River in Old Tryon County, NC: "29 September 1779, William Mills of Rutherford County to Thomas Wadlington of same, for 200L process money of North Carolina, !and on both sides of Walnut Creek on the waters of Green River, adjoining John Fisher, and granted to John McKnitt Alexander on 29 April 1769, and conveyed to Samuel Sharp, then to William Mills. Signed William Mills {Seal}, Eleanor Mills {Seal}. Witnessed by John Earle and William Nevil"

John McKnitt Alexander (1733-1817) was secretary to the Mecklenburg Convention, and a signer of the Declaration; he was also a member of the Provincial Congress of North Carolina. He was born in Pennsylvania; died in Mecklenburg County, N. C.

More information:

John McKnitt, b. 6/6/1733, in Cecil County, Maryland; d. 7/10/1817, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; m. September, 1762, Jean Bean (Bain) (daughter of William); d. 3/16/1789, aged 49 years.

John McKnitt Alexander, accompanied by his brother, Hezekiah, and other relatives removed to Mecklenburg, North Carolina, about 1754. Later his brother, Ezekiel, and his sisters, Jemima Sharp, Elizabeth Sample, Abigail Bradley, and Margaret McCoy, with their families, came to live in the same section, as did also Catherine Alexander, widow of his brother, Theophilus.

He established his home ten miles north of Charlotte, in the Hopewell section of the County. He was a tailor by trade and later became Public Surveyor under the Crown. He acquired extensive tracts of land, was very successful in business, and a leader in the community.

He was a zealous patriot, active in the cause of liberty from the beginning. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1772; a member of the Committee of Safety in 1775; Secretary of the Convention which met at Charlotte on May 19 and 20, 1775; and a Signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775. In 1777 he served as the first State Senator from Mecklenburg County.

It has been said that he was a Scout for General Greene and that he was with him at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered.

John McKnitt Alexander served his County in many capacities. He was a Justice of the Peace; a member of the first organized Court of the County; a trustee of Queen's Museum; and Register of Deeds from 1792 to 1808.

He was very much interested in church affairs and served as Treasurer of the Synod of North Carolina. He gave the original tract of land on which Hopewell Presbyterian Church was built. He lies buried in the graveyard of that church, in which he was an elder from the time of its organization (about 1762) until his death in 1817.

The children of John McKnitt and Jean Bean (Bain) Alexander were:

  • 1. William Bain (Bean), b. 4/25/1764; d. 1/23/1844; m. 8/25/1791, Violet Davidson, b. 8/28/1771; d. 10/26/1821.
  • 2. Margaret, b. 4/3/1766; d. 7/7/1805; m. 4/7/178{9}, Francis A. Ramsey, b. 5/31/1764; d. 11/5/1820.
  • 3. Jean Bain (called Polly), b. 7/6/1768; d. 5/18/1816; m. Rev. James Wallis; d. 12/27/1817; aged 57 years.
  • 4. Abigail Bain, b. 11/25/1770; d. 5/15/1802; m. 1792, Rev. Samuel C. Caldwell; d. 10/5/1826, aged 59 years.
  • 5. Joseph McKnitt, b. 4/23/1773; d. 10/18/1841; m. 8/3/1797, Dovey Winslow; d. 9/6/1801, aged 25 years.
  • Birth: June 6 1733
  • New Munster area in the northeastern portion of Cecil County, Maryland
  • Move: 1754
  • Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
  • Marriage: Marriage to: Jane\Jean Alexander (born Bain)
  • Sep 1762
  • Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
  • Misc: Circa 1770
  • Treasurer of the two synods, then united in one, of North and South Carolina.
  • Misc: 1776
  • Delegate to the Provincial Congress that met at Halifax in 1776.
  • Appointment: 1777
  • Chosen as a trustee of Liberty Hall Academy
  • Leg. Svc.: July 4 1777
  • New Bern, North Carolina
  • Appointment: 1778
  • Judge for Mecklenburg County, a position for life
  • Appointment: 1788
  • Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
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John McKnitt Alexander, Signer's Timeline

June 6, 1733
New Munster, Cecil, Maryland, United States
April 25, 1764
Age 30
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
April 3, 1766
Age 32
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
July 6, 1768
Age 35
Mecklenburg, NC
November 25, 1770
Age 37
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
April 23, 1773
Age 39
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
July 10, 1817
Age 84
Mecklenburg, North Carolina, United States
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery Huntersville Mecklenburg County North Carolina