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Charlotte Information

The largest city in the southern state of North Carolina, Charlotte, the seat of Mecklenburg County, ranks as the 17th largest city in the United States. The area that is now Charlotte was first settled by Europeans in 1755. The settlement grew, becoming Charlotte Town, which was incorporated in 1768.

In 1775, community leaders in Charlotte signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which, though not an official declaration of independence from English rule, was one of the first such declarations in the American colonies that led eventually to the Revolutionary War for American independence.

While Charlotte is considered the home of Southern Presbyterianism, the large number of churches of other denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Latter-day Saint, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic has given it the nickname, 'The City of Churches.'

The discovery of a 17-pound rock in 1799 near Charlotte, which was found to be almost solid gold, set off the first gold rush in the United States. Other veins of gold were found in the area, and in 1837, the Charlotte Mint was established. Centered mainly in the area near Charlotte, gold production in North Carolina led the nation until the 1848 California gold rush.

Charlotte has a total land area of nearly 300 square miles and lies at an elevation of 748 feet above sea level. The only significant body of water in the vicinity of the city is the Catawba River and several lakes some miles to the west of the city. The lack of a significant waterway meant that water transportation played no role in the city's development as it did in other American cities of similar size. But, the lack of waterways was also not an impediment to the development of other modes of transportation, and Charlotte has become a highway, rail, and air transportation in the region.

Charlotte has a climate that is humid and subtropical, with four distinct seasons. Winters are short and cool, with only about 58 nights per year of temperatures at or below freezing. Being in the path of subtropical moisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, however, Charlotte receives over 40 inches of rain annually. In winter, snow tends to be light, with frequent ice storms and sleet mixed with rain. Summers in Charlotte tend toward hot and humid.

The population of Charlotte is diverse, with immigrants from Eastern Europe, Greece, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

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