Hillsborough, North Carolina

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Hillsborough is a town in Orange County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 9,653 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Orange County.[1]

Its name was unofficially shortened to "Hillsboro" over the years (beginning in the 19th century) but was changed back to its original spelling in the late 1960s.



Native-American history

Local Native-American groups had lived in the Hillsborough area for thousands of years by the time European-American settlers discovered the area. Siouan-language groups such as the Occaneechi and the Eno were living in the Hillsborough area at the time of European contact, before they were displaced. The explorer John Lawson recorded visiting "Occaneechi Town" when he travelled through North Carolina in 1701.

In the early 18th century, the Occaneechi left Hillsborough for Virginia, returning to the area around 1780.[2] An original Occaneechi farming village was excavated by an archaeological team from UNC-Chapel Hill in the 1980s.[2] A replica of an Occaneechi village stands close to the original Eno River settlement.[2]

Colonial period and Revolutionary War

Hillsborough was founded in 1754, and was first owned, surveyed, and mapped by William Churton (a surveyor for Earl Granville). Originally to be named Orange, it was named Corbin Town (for Francis Corbin, a member of the governor's council and one of Granville's land agents), and renamed Childsburgh (in honor of Thomas Child, the attorney general for North Carolina from 1751–1760 and another one of Granville's land agents) in 1759. It was not until 1766 that it was named Hillsborough, after the Earl of Hillsborough, the British secretary of state for the colonies and a relative of royal Governor William Tryon.

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