Welcome to Historic Glasgow County (1791-1799)



Present-day Greene County evolved from its ancient parent, Craven County, which was subdivided in 1746 to form Craven, Johnston, and Dobbs counties. Dobbs was, in turn, subdivided in 1779 to form Wayne County. In 1791, Dobbs was dissolved when Glasgow and Lenoir were formed. Glasgow was short-lived, as it was renamed Greene County in 1799.

Glasgow County had been named for Secretary of State James Glasgow. The son of a Scottish minister, Glasgow was educated at William and Mary College.[1] He was active in the revolutionary cause in North Carolina, and in December 1776, was rewarded by the last of the state's provincial congresses with the office of Secretary of State.

James Glasgow (c. 1735-1819) served as the first North Carolina Secretary of State, from 1777 to 1798. In 1791, while he was still serving as Secretary of State, the state legislature named a county after him. He resigned in disgrace after a scandal known as the "Glasgow Land Fraud".

The name was changed to Greene, for Nathaniel Greene, Gen. George Washington's second in command. Greene is ranked by many as the second greatest soldier of the American Revolution, next to Washington himself. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Guilford Court House, helping to save North Carolina from the British.

In 1811 Snow Hill was founded to be the site of the courthouse and today is still the county seat. Greene County is in the eastern section of North Carolina with neighboring counties being Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson.

The county is transversed by Contentnea Creek which played a major role in its development. Large enough to navigate, the surrounding lands had been occupied by the Tuscarora Indians, explored by John Lawson in the early 1700s; later attracted farming settlers to its fertile ground.  From The 1895 Atlas Project. Courtesy of Pam Rietsch.

Glasgow County links and information:

1. Marker F-66 with Land Fraud essay

2. Marriage and Notices from Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1799-1813 [1825]

~Pasteur, Dr. James of Raleigh to Miss Shephard of Glasgow County, Nov. 14. R. R. Dec. 3, 1799.



Contact: NCGenWeb State Coordinator

Last updated:  March 31, 2017