Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, SC

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Charlotte, NC #11

This church was ‘organized’ in 1755 by “Scottish-Irish’.   It was the first church in upper South Carolina.   The earliest building was made of logs and used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the revolutionary war.   It was burned by the British.   Sounds like a war atrocity – burning a church/hospital.   The Church on the current site is the 4th version built in 1896 and remodeled in 1942 (Version 4 Service Pack 1).

The graveyard contains president Andrew Jackson’s father and “General R. Davie, Revolutionary Patriot and founder of the University of North Carolina, 1789”   He was also state governor and Minister to France (1799).

The graves generally faced South (head) to North (feet) with slight variations on this line.   I found this strange because Christian graves in old British churches tend to consistently face West (head) to East (feet).   A  detailed description of  Christian burial ritual is available at:



“A man ought so to be buried”…     …  “that while his head lies to the West his feet are turned to the East, for thus he prays as it were by his very position and suggests that he is ready to hasten from the West to the East”

If anyone knows why these graves have thier feet to the North,   facing away from the church (altar),   let me know!

Some of the graves are innovately carved in styles I’ve never seen before (see picture below).   Some graves were marked very simply with a rock positioned at their head.  

Go-west Wendy

Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, SC
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