LAND AREA: 526.28 square miles
Black/African American: 282,804
American Indian: 4,261
Pacific Islander: 668
Two or more races: 23,484
Hispanic/Latino: 111,944 (of any race)
From the 2010 Census, US Census Bureau.
Biographies for 
Mecklenburg County 
Piedmont region 
Mecklenburg County, located in North Carolina's Piedmont  region, was formed from Anson County  in 1762 and took its name from the German duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, home of the wife of King George III, Charlotte Sophia. The county seat, Charlotte  (incorporated in 1768 and originally called Charlotte Town), was named after the queen as well. Today Mecklenburg County is the most populous county in the state (with an estimated population of 769,000 in 2004) and Charlotte the largest city; the communities of Davidson , Cornelius , Huntersville , Mint Hill , Matthews , Pineville , Newell, Allen, Paw Creek, and Caldwell  are also in Mecklenburg County.
Catawba , Waxhaw, and Saponi  Indians originally inhabited the region. In the mid-1700s, Scotch-Irish  settlers established what would later become Charlotte at the intersection of two Indian trading routes near the Catawba River . Despite the allegiance to the king demonstrated by the city's chosen name, Charlotteans in time earned the moniker "Hornet's Nest" for patriotic fervor during the Revolution. The date of 20 May 1775 is featured on North Carolina's state flag  in commemoration of the "Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence ," a disputed chapter in North Carolina history.
In 1799 a 17-pound gold nugget was unearthed in Mecklenburg County (in what is now Cabarrus County )-the first such discovery in the new nation-prompting a gold rush  and the establishment of a branch of the U.S. Mint in Charlotte. The city grew into its role as a financial hub; by the early 2000s it was home to two of the largest banking chains in the country, the Bank of America  and Wachovia Corporation , and had emerged as the nation's second-largest banking center (trailing only New York City). Today Charlotte is one of the most populous metropolises in the southeastern United States. The city is home to the Charlotte Bobcats  of the National Basketball Association, the Carolina Panthers  of the National Football League, and NASCAR 's Lowe's Motor Speedway . Among its natives sons are President James K. Polk  (celebrated by a State Historic Site ) and evangelist Billy Graham.
Other Mecklenburg County cultural and historic attractions include the Hezekiah Alexander House , the Charlotte Museum of History , and the Latta Plantation . The Levine Museum of the New South  focuses on broader issues of the North Carolina Piedmont. The Mint Museum of Art , the Charlotte Repertory Theater, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra , and Opera Carolina  add to the cultural fabric of Mecklenburg County. Institutions of higher learning in the county include the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Queens University of Charlotte , Johnson C. Smith University , and Davidson College .
Legette Blythe and Charles Raven Brockmann, Hornet's Nest: The Story of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (1961).
Mary Norton Kratt, Charlotte, Spirit of the New South (1991).
City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Government Services: http://charmeck.org/ 
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce: http://charlottechamber.com/ 
DigitalNC, Mecklenburg County: http://digitalnc.org/counties/mecklenburg-county 
Levine Museum of the New South: http://www.museumofthenewsouth.org/ 
NASCAR Hall of Fame: http://www.nascarhall.com/ 
President James K. Polk Historic Site: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/polk/polk.htm 
User submitted images, Flickr. (How you may contribute ).
Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.
1 January 2006 | Vocci, Robert Blair