Burke County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2010 census, the population was 90,912. Its county seat is Morganton.
Burke County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first European settlement in the interior of North Carolina (and what would become the United States) was made by a Spanish expedition in 1567, when they built Fort San Juan at the large Mississippian culture Native American chiefdom of Joara. Present-day Morganton later developed at this site. The Spanish renamed the settlement Cuenca. The following year the Indians killed nearly all the Spanish garrisoned at this and five other interior forts, and burned Fort San Juan. It was two centuries before Europeans tried to settle again this far west in the colony.