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Edward Buncombe (1742 - 1778) was a plantation owner from the Province of North Carolina who served as a colonel in the Continental Army (the army of the Patriot side) in the American Revolutionary War. He is the namesake of Buncombe Countymarker in western North Carolina. In 1820, his surname (in its status as the name of that county) became the source of the derogatory American slang term, "bunkum" and its shortened form, "bunk" in consequence of the U.S. representative for the county, Felix Walker, invoking the county during a poorly received speech delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Biography

Buncombe was born in 1742 on the West Indiesmarker island of St. Christopher (today St. Kittsmarker).WNC Heritage - A Collaborative Database. Col. Edward Buncombe. Web page. He grew up there and in England. He immigrated to North Carolina in 1768 and settled at a plantation he had inherited near the shore of Albemarle Sound on the Atlantic coast, in what is now Washington Countymarker. In 1774, as the independence movement of the Thirteen Colonies gathered steam, he took a leading role in convening proindependence meetings, especially the First Provincial Congress, which is reportedly the first assembly anywhere in the Thirteen Colonies to defy a royal governor. He joined a local militia, the Tyrrell militia. The "Halifax Assembly" elected him colonel of the 5th North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army on April 15, 1776 (three days after it had passed the historic Halifax Resolves). He was wounded and captured on October 4, 1777 at the Battle of Germantownmarker, fought several miles outside of the rebel capital of Philadelphiamarker, which the British had recently seized. The British army paroled him to that city. The following May of 1778, Col. Buncombe fell down some stairs while sleepwalking and his wounds reopened, causing him to bleed to death. He is buried in Christ Church Burial Groundmarker in Philadelphia.

Tax records of 1782 say that his estate included of land and 10 Negroes.

In 1791, the State of North Carolina created a new county from parts of two other counties and named it for Col. Buncombe. The present Buncombe Countymarker is a combination of parts of the original one with parts of neighboring counties.

References

External links



Further reading

  • Ashe, Samuel. 1905. A Biographical History of North Carolina. Vol. I. p. 198.
  • Powell, William S., editor. 1979. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Volume 1. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.



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