Metropolis, Illinois

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Metropolis is a city located along the Ohio River in Massac County, Illinois, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,482. It is the county seat of Massac County.[1] Metropolis is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Located on the Ohio River, the Metropolis area has been settled by many different peoples over history. For thousands of years, varying cultures of Native Americans originally populated this area, taking advantage of the river valley for fish and related wildlife, and transportation. The most complex society was the Mississippian culture, which reached its peak out 1100 AD and built a large city at Cahokia, near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Its people built large earthworks and related structures, many of which remain at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mississippian culture regional centers arose throughout the Ohio and lower Mississippian valleys, where the rivers were part of widespread trading routes.

In 1757, Massac County was settled by a French expedition, which built Fort De L'Ascension for use during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War. It was named Massaic in tribute to France's Minister of the Marine. The forces at the fort were able to resist a Cherokee attack during the war. Afterward the defeated French abandoned the fort. When the victorious British arrived to take over territory ceded by the French, they discovered only burnt ruins; the Chickasaw had destroyed the fort.

During the American Revolutionary War, in 1778 George Rogers Clark and his regiment of "Long Knives" successfully entered Illinois at Massac Creek and ventured 100 miles (160 km) north to take Kaskaskia without firing a shot. Its mostly ethnic French residents were sympathetic to the rebels. This action won the Illinois territory for the State of Virginia and the still-growing United States. In 1794 General George Washington ordered Fort Massac reconstructed, and it served as a military post for the next 20 years.

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