Cumberland County

About

Located in the Sandhills region an hour south of Raleigh, Cumberland is the fifth most populous county in the state and its county seat of Fayetteville ranks sixth among the state’s most populous cities. Originally formed out of Bladen County in 1754, Cumberland is known for its early settlement among a large number of Highland Scots. Ironically, the county gets its name after King George II’s son, William Augustus the Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Highland Scots at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

During the 1770s and 1780s, the county underwent many boundary changes. For three months in 1784, Cumberland was known as Fayette County when the Western part of the county became Moore County, before changing the name back to Cumberland. Fayette and the county seat of Fayetteville were named after the Marquis de Lafayette who was a French general who fought for American Independence. Fayetteville is said to be the only namesake city the Marquis ever personally visited.

Cumberland has a storied political and military history. It was in Fayetteville that delegates met to deliberate on the U.S. Constitution. Following a seven-day convention in 1789, the delegates ratified the Constitution, making North Carolina the twelfth state to do so. Approximately 75 years later, the town of Fayetteville would be a casualty of Sherman’s March during the Civil War.

Much of the county’s twentieth-century military history centers around Fort Liberty, formerly known as Fort Bragg. The U.S. Army base originally established as a training site at the end of WWI, is one of the largest military bases in the world with over 52,000 military personnel. Military history contributes largely to the culture, with a number of museums and installations dedicated to the men and women who have served, including the Airborne and Special Operations Museum and the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum.

Though born in Laurinburg, former Governor and U.S. Senator Terry Sanford spent most of his life in Fayetteville. He is remembered as North Carolina’s education governor and his influence can be seen in his home county, which has the fourth-largest school system in the state. The county is also home to Fayetteville State, a historically black university originally established as Howard School in 1867 to educate black children. It is the second-oldest public university in the state, second only to UNC Chapel Hill. The county is also home to Methodist University and Fayetteville Technical Community College.

While there are pockets of the county favorable to the GOP, the county on the whole has solidly favored Democrats. Statewide Democrats have traditionally carried the county on average by a 15-point margin.

Geography

County Seat: Fayetteville
Biggest Cities:
  • Hope Mills
  • Spring Lake
  • Fayetteville
  • Eastover
  • Stedman
  • Vander
Media Market: Raleigh-Durham

Elected Officials

County Data