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These areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. Louis was attacked by British forces, mostly Native American allies, in the Battle of St. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St.Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area.
The earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country (also known as Upper Louisiana) on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Fort de Chartres. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. (French lands east of the Mississippi had been ceded to Great Britain and the lands west of the Mississippi to Spain; France and Spain were 18th-century allies.Home to nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri, the metro area counts among its major corporations Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Centene, Boeing Defense, Emerson, Energizer, Panera, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Post Holdings, Monsanto, Edward Jones, Go Jet, Purina, Olin Corporation, and Sigma-Aldrich. Their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City".The city has also become known for its growing medical, pharmaceutical, and research institutions, including as Washington University in St. These mounds were mostly demolished during the city's development.Although originally thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, and thus St. This led Laclède to assume a position of civil control, and all problems were disposed in public settings, such as communal meetings.In addition, Laclède granted new settlers lots in town and the surrounding countryside.Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River (e.g. Louis XV of France and Charles III of Spain were cousins, both from the House of Bourbon.) The early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River.
The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe.
One of the great Ottawa chieftains, Pontiac, was angered by the change of power and the potential for the British to come into their lands. Louis was transferred to the French First Republic in 1800 (although all of the colonial lands continued to be administered by Spanish officials), then sold by the French to the U. There were hopes of finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean, but the party had to go overland in the Upper West. Given the city's location close to the free state of Illinois and others, some slaves escaped to freedom.
He desired to fight against them but many of the St. They reached the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River in summer 1805. Others, especially women with children, sued in court in freedom suits, and several prominent local attorneys aided slaves in these suits.
The city had an estimated 2018 population of 302,838 and is the cultural and economic center of the St.
The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city, forming the fourth-longest river system in the world.
Although they were originally only granted rights to set up a trading post, Laclède and other members of his expedition quickly set up a settlement.