Murphy is a town in Cherokee County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-year Estimate, the population was estimated at 1,956. According to the 2000 census, the population was 1,568. Murphy is the county seat of Cherokee County and is the westernmost county seat in North Carolina. It is closer to the capitals of six other states (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, and West Virginia) than to Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. Murphy was named for North Carolina politician Archibald Murphey.
The site of Murphy, along the Hiwassee River, was known to the Cherokee as Tlanusi-yi (the Leech Place), because of a legend about a giant leech named Tlanusi that lived in the river there.
The Trading Path (later called the "Unicoi Turnpike") passed by the future site of Murphy, connecting the Cherokee lands east of the mountains with the "Overhill Towns" of Tennessee.