Lincolnton is a small city in Lincoln County, North Carolina, United States, within the Charlotte metropolitan area. The population was 10,683 at the 2010 census. Lincolnton is northwest of Charlotte, on the South Fork of the Catawba River. The junction of State Highway 27 and U.S. Route 321 is located nearby. The city is the county seat of Lincoln County, and is the only legally incorporated municipality wholly within the rural county.
This area was long occupied by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. It was not settled extensively by European Americans until after the American Revolutionary War of the late 18th century.
In June 1780 during the war, the future site of Lincolnton was the site of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, a small engagement in which local Loyalists were defeated by pro-independence forces among the British colonists. Some historians consider the battle significant because it disrupted Loyalist organizing in the region at a crucial time.
After the Revolution, the legislature organized a new county by splitting this area from old Tryon County (named in the colonial era for a royally appointed governor).