Bladen was formed in 1734 from New Hanover. It was named in honor of Martin Bladen, one of the members of the Board of Trade which had charge of colonial affairs. It is in the southeastern section of the State and is bounded by Sampson, Pender, Columbus, Robeson and Cumberland counties. The present land area is 875.62 square miles and its 1990 population was 28,663. The county seat was first called Bladen Court House. Elizabethtown, established in 1773, is the county seat.

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