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Harlan is a city in Harlan County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,081 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 1,880 in 2007. It is the county seat of Harlan County.
The settlement which became Harlan was first settled by Samuel and Chloe Howard in 1796, who allocated 12 acres (49,000 m2) of their land to become the county seat in 1812. They named the town Mount Pleasant when it was incorporated in 1876 due to the presence of a nearby Indian burial mound. It was renamed Harlan by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1912 since there was already a "Mount Pleasant" in the state.
Harlan is the site of a criminal case in which a man, Condy Dabney, was convicted in 1924 of murdering a person who was later found alive.