This city is situated on the West side of the Mississippi river, in lati-
tude 38°, 37′, 28″; longitude 90°, 15′, 39″, west of Greenwich, and may
justly be said to be the commercial emporium of the great valley of
the West. A brief outline of its settlement, rise, position and busi-
ness, is all that we can pretend to give at present.
The site of St. Louis was originally settled for an Indian trading
post, a depot for goods for the Indian trade, and rendezvous for the tra-
ders and the place of deposit for the furs and skins procured in the
trafic. At the time it was selected, and for many years afterwards,
the whole country north and west was occupied, exclusively, by various
Indian tribes. The most accredited, as well as the most authentic ac-
counts of the foundation of St. Louis, ascribe it to a company of In-
dian traders organized by the grant of the Governor General of Louis-
iana to Mons.LacledeLiguste, and others, to trade with the Indians
of the Missouri and west of the Mississppi.
"In consequence of the powers with which he was invested, Mr.
Laclede, formed an expedition, at the head of which he was placed,
and started from New Orleans on the 3d of August, 1763. On the 3dof November, in the same year, he arrived at Ste. Genevieve, but
finding no place suitable for the storage of his goods, and being still
too far from the Missouri, a proximity to which, was an object with
him, he proceeded on to Fort de Chartres, which was still inposses-
sion of the French troops." (Dep. of A.Chouteau, .) Thence hepro-
ceeded immediately towards the mouth of the Missouri river, in
search of a spot suitable for an establishment of the kind he had in
view. Having fixed upon a site, he returned to Fort de Chartres,
from whence he started again in the beging of the month of Febru-ary, 1764, with the men whom he had brought with him from New
Orleans, a few from Ste. Genevieve, and some from the Fort. On his
route he passed through the town of Cahokia, engaging several fami-
lies to go with him to the proposed establishment. On the fifteenth,
they reached the place of destination, proceeded to cut down trees and
draw the lines of a town, which was called, by, Mr.Laclede, , the
founder , St. Louis, in honor of Louis Xv., the reigning monarch of
France."—Extract from history of St. Louis, prepared for Lyceum.
The purposes for which St. Louis was selected, its proximity to
the Missouri, soon gave it commercial importance in the then com-
merce of the country. In the second year after its foundation Fort
Chartres was abandoned by the French troops and M. St.Ange, , the
commander of the Fort, with the officers and troops removed to St.
Louis, where he assumed the reins of government, and from that time
St. Louis became the Capitol of Upper Louisiana, and the chief tra-
ding post of the upper country.