A Brief History & Some Interesting Facts: Robeson County

Robeson County, formed in 1787 from Bladen County, is named in honor of Colonel Thomas Robeson. Colonel Thomas Robeson served as one of the leaders in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Elizabethtown. During this battle the Tories in the southeastern part of North Carolina were crushed by the patriots.

Colonel Thomas Robeson lived at Tar Heel. His descendants still occupy some of his original property. His grave was marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the early 1900s.

Lumberton, the county seat, was established contrary to other published information prior to 1788. The act that incorporated Lumberton in 1788 mentioned that a town had already been established. At the time Lumberton was incorporated the section of the Lumber River on which Lumberton is located was known as  Drowning Creek, a name by which portions of the river are still known.

The name Lumberton was proposed by John Willis and the first Robeson County courthouse was erected on land which was previously part of the Red Bluff Plantation owned by John Willis.

The official language of Robeson County was Gaelic.

Robeson County’s first post office was established in 1794.

Anglos who settled from the Scottish Highlands in the early 1730s found the local American Indians, descendants of the Tuscarora, Cherokee, Cheraw and remnants of other tribes speaking English. They also found a group of both freed and runaway slaves living in the area. Today, Robeson County is home to the Tuscarora and Lumbee Tribes. According to the 2000 Census, Robeson County has the ninth largest population of American Indians in the United States. Our County is a true multi-racial county!