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Lincolnton is a city in Lincoln County, North Carolina, United States, within the Charlotte metropolitan area. The population was 10,486 at the 2010 census. Lincolnton is northwest of Charlotte, on the South Fork of the Catawba River. 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 Revolutionary War in 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). The 1780 battle site was chosen for the seat of Lincoln County.