What’s In A Name?

On February 8, 1779 two new counties were formed out of Tryon County, North Carolina. The first, Lincoln County, was named after General Benjamin Lincoln of the Continental Army.

General Benjamin Lincoln, 1784

The second county formed from old Tryon County was also named after a famed, heroic General of the Continental Army. However, on April 14, 1779, a scant two months later, the North Carolina assembly met and renamed the second county after a more locally famous leader, General Griffith Rutherford, who had led local militia in a campaign against British allied Cherokees called the Rutherford Trace.

General Griffith Rutherford 

Whatever the reason for changing the name of the county, it proved fortuitous for a year later the county’s original namesake defected to the British, earning a dubious place in history and forever becoming synonymous with treason.

Congratulations, Rutherford County citizens, you could have been residents of (Benedict) Arnold County.

Benedict Arnold 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s