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Hoke County North Carolina

The Hoke County courthouse is located at 231 North Main Street, Raeford, NC 28376; phone: 910-878-4141.

Beginnings [1]

Hoke County is located in the Sandhills region of south-central North Carolina, just north of the South Carolina state line. While the county's topography undulates slightly, the area is generally flat and traversed by slow-moving creeks and swamps. Raeford's terrain is fairly level with a very slight downhill slope running through downtown from north to south.

In 1734, Gabriel Johnston became North Carolina's royal governor. To hasten settlement of the sparsely populated colony, he established tax exemptions for new immigrants and disseminated positive information about the colony. Johnston's promotion, combined with colonists' own writings to their friends and families in Europe persuaded thousands of people, eventually hundreds of thousands, to come to North Carolina. With such encouragement, Scottish settlers began arriving in Brunswick and later Wilmington, they moved up the Cape Fear River into the Cross Creek area, which became Fayetteville. After 1746 when the British defeated the Scottish Highlanders, leaving many of them landless and starving, the fleeing Highlanders followed the same route moving farther up the Cape Fear and its tributaries as land along the river filled with immigrants. By 1754, enough Scottish settlers lived in the Cape Fear region that the General Assembly created a new county from Bladen County. The general assembly, mostly comprised of men of English origins, disdainfully named the county Cumberland for William, Duke of Cumberland who had commanded the victorious British army against the Highlanders eight years earlier. As the eighteenth century progressed, more Scottish settlers pushed deeper into the Cape Fear region and began populating the part of Cumberland County that would become Hoke County. By 1787, the area's population required another county and Robeson was also created from Bladen County.

  1. Sarah Woodward David and Jennifer F. Martin, Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc., Raeford Historic District, Hoke County, North Carolina, nomination document, 2006, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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