Cumberland County, North Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2020)



William Augustus,
Duke of Cumberland


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1729 / Highland Scots

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Historical Post Offices

American Revolution

American Civil War

Significant Education Events

Alphabetical / Date Started

Battles & Skirmishes / Militia

Battles & Skirmishes / Troops

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Airports in Cumberland County

Maps of Cumberland County

Books on Cumberland County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Cumberland County

Confederate Arsenal at Fayetteville During Civil War

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland was the third son of King George II and commander of the English Army at the Battle of Culloden, in which the Highland Scots were soundly defeated in 1746. Many Highland Scots left and went to the colonies afterward and many settled what is today Cumberland County, North Carolina. The settlers of Cumberland County wanted a different name, but the English forced the name of Cumberland upon them to remind them that they had been defeated by England in their homeland just a few short years before.

Cumberland was changed briefly to Fayette County in 1784, but the Act was repealed at the next General Assembly in the same year.

In 1762, Campbellton was established at Cross Creek with provisions for public buildings. In 1778, Cross Creek and Campbellton were joined and the court house was ordered to be erected in the part of town known as Cross Creek. In 1783, Campbellton was changed to Fayetteville in honor of Marquis de la Lafayette, the French general who aided the colonies during the American Revolution.

Cumberland County began as a settlement in the upper Cape Fear River valley between 1729 and 1736 by European migrants known as Highland Scots. The area became a vital transportation link to other major settlements. A receiving and distribution center was established in 1730 on the Cape Fear River. This settlement was known as Campbellton.

The colonial General Assembly passed an Act in 1754 which resulted in the political division of Bladen County, thus forming Cumberland County. It was named after the Duke of Cumberland (William Augustus) who commanded the English Army. Campbellton was named the County Seat during 1778. In 1783, Campbellton was renamed to Fayetteville in honor of Marquis De LaFayette, a French general that served in the American Revolutionary Army under General George Washington.

Fayetteville's growth was set back by a devastating fire in 1831 and by the invasion of General William T. Sherman in 1865. One of the principal factors that boosted the slow recovery of the area was the opening of Camp Bragg as an artillery and temporary training facility in 1918. The base was closed in 1921 and later reopened as a permanent army post and renamed Fort Bragg in honor of Confederate General Braxton Bragg, a North Carolina native.

Presently, Cumberland County has a population close to 320,000 and encompasses approximately 661 square miles. The area is known as the "Sandhills." Cumberland County has progressed from its beginnings as a riverfront distribution center to a highly commercialized area offering a variety of services to its citizens.

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