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Jefferson City, Missouri

City: Jefferson City

County: Cole

State: Missouri

Lat/Long: 38.5667, -92.1667

Located on the Missouri River, Jefferson City is the county seat of Cole County and the capital of Missouri. Europeans began arriving in the area in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. White settlers constructed the first house in the region in 1819. When Congress created Missouri as a state in 1820, the Missouri General Assembly established a commission to locate a state capital. The commissioners assigned the task selected the area that would become Jefferson City. Sales of lots began in 1823, and construction of a state capitol commenced. In November 1825, the Missouri General Assembly incorporated Jefferson City as a town, and it became the official seat of state government in 1826. In 1829, Jefferson City became the county seat of Cole County. In November 1837, the state capitol burned, and construction began on a new capitol, which was completed in 1842. In 1840, Jefferson City had a population of 1,174, including twenty-one free blacks and 262 slaves. During the Civil War, Union troops occupied Jefferson City.

History of Cole, Moniteau, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1889), 276-84; Walter B. Stevens, Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State): One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921 (St. Louis and Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1921), 1:754.