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Early European Conquests
and the Settlement of Mobile


1702 French, led by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, found Mobile, capital of French Louisiana, on a bluff 27 miles north of mouth of Mobile River; town clustered around Fort Louis.

1711 After upriver site flooded, Mobile moved to permanent settlement on west bank of Mobile River; Fort Condé built to protect settlers.

1718 Biloxi supplants Mobile as capital of French Louisiana, and in 1720 New Orleans replaces Biloxi. Mobile serves as the main center for trade with the Muscogee Indians.

1763 British claim Mobile as part of settlement of French and Indian War in Treaty of Paris of 1763.

1780 Spanish occupy Mobile during American Revolution.

1783 Spanish gain title to British West Florida, including Mobile, in Treaty of Paris of 1783.

1803 Louisiana Purchase—U.S. claims that Mobile is part of West Florida, which was included in Purchase lands.

1804 Mobile placed in a U.S. Customs District.

1810 Planters in West Florida declare their independence from Spain; President James Madison annexes territory that includes Mobile.

1813 During War of 1812 American forces occupy Mobile and the Spanish depart; IMPERIAL RULE ENDS.

1819 Mobile included in the new state of Alabama (following time in Mississippi and Alabama Territories); Americans soon demolish colonial fort and develop downtown riverfront property.