St. Louis is founded as a French trading post by Pierre Laclade Ligue

Indian Attack on the village of St Louis 1780

Indian Attack on the village of St Louis 1780

The history of St. Louis, Missouri began with the settlement of the St. Louis area by Native American mound builders who lived as part of the Mississippian culture from the 800s to the 1400s, followed by other migrating tribal groups.

Starting in the late 1600s, French explorers arrived, and after the French and Indian War, a French trading company led by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau established the settlement of St. Louis in February 1764. The city grew in population due to its location as a trading post on the Mississippi River, and the city played a small role in the American Revolutionary War.

In 1803, the city and the region were sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

After the transfer, St. Louis was an entrepôt of trade with the American West. In the late 1840s, it became a destination for German and Irish immigrants; in response, some residents adopted nativist sentiments. The city’s proximity to free states caused it to become a center for the filing of freedom suits, such as the Dred Scott case, whose outcome was among the causes of the American Civil War. During the Civil War, St. Louis had a small skirmish on its outskirts, but remained under Union control.

Its railroad connections and industrial activity increased after the war, and it experienced a corresponding rise in pollution. During the early 1870s, the Eads Bridge was constructed over the Mississippi River, and the city established several large parks, including Forest Park. Due to local political and economic disputes, the city separated from St. Louis County in 1876 and became an independent city. During the late 19th century, St. Louis became home to two Major League Baseball teams, while both ragtime and blues music flourished in the city. It has hosted the 1904 World’s Fair and the 1904 Summer Olympics.