Jefferson City, Missouri

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Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Located in Callaway and Cole counties, it is the principal city of the Jefferson City metropolitan area, which encompasses the entirety of both counties. As of 2008, the population was 40,771.[3] Jefferson City was named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America.

Jefferson City is on the northern edge of the Ozark Plateau on the southern side of the Missouri River near the geographic center of the state, in a region known as Mid-Missouri. It is at the western edge of the Missouri Rhineland, one of the major wine-producing regions of the Midwest. The city is dominated by the domed Capitol, rising from a bluff overlooking the Missouri River to the north. Lewis and Clark passed beneath that bluff on their historic expedition upriver before Europeans established any settlement there.

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History

In pre-Columbian times, this region was home of an ancient people known only as the Mound Builders. By the time European settlers began arriving, the Mound Builders had vanished into history. The contemporary indigenous peoples were called the Osage Indians. When the Missouri Territory was organized in 1812, St. Louis was the seat of government. St. Charles next served as the capital.

In the middle of the state, Jefferson City was chosen as the new capital in 1821 while Thomas Jefferson was actually still alive. The village was first called Lohman's Landing. When the legislature decided to relocate there, they proposed the name "Missouriopolis" but later settled on Jefferson City.[4] For years the village was little more than a trading post located in the wilderness about midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1826 the Missouri legislature first met here and in 1839 the settlement was incorporated as a city.

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