The capital of Missouri, officially named the City of Jefferson in honor of the third U.S. President, is built on a site chosen by the First General Assembly, 1821, for a seat of government. St. Charles, until 1826, was the temporary capital while the new town was established here. The first statehouse here burned, 1837, the second, 1911. Today's magnificent capitol completed 1917, is built of native Carthage marble.
The capitol is famous for its paintings, sculpture, and murals which highlight the historic role of Missouri as Frontier State; Gateway to the West; Mother of the West; and agricultural and industrial Center State. Other features are the Resources Museum; Soldiers and Sailors Hall; murals by Benton and Brangwyn; and legislative chambers.
In 1829 the city became the seat of Cole Co., organized 1820, named for Stephen Cole, pioneer. In 1833 the State Penitentiary was located here; the Missouri Pacific Railroad reached this point, 1855; and the Missouri River was bridged, 1896. Lincoln University, now State supported, was chartered as an institute for Negroes, 1866.
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The State capital, in the Ozark foothills, near the State's center, was settled mainly by Southerners and later Germans on land ceded the U.S. by the Osage Indians, 1808.
During the Civil War, delegates elected to a State Convention, Feb. 1861, to decide Missouri's status in the Union, deposed the pro-Southern State officers who had left at the approach of Union troops, June 1861. A "Provisional Government, set up by the Convention, kept Missouri in the Union.
The State Seal, shown atop the marker, was adopted, 1822. Among symbols used are the crescent mark of the second son for Missouri, the second state formed from the Louisiana Purchase; a bear for courage and resources; the U.S. Coat of Arms for union; a helmet for strength; and a large star for Missouri, 24th state. The motto is "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."
Among sites of interest are the National Cemetery; Executive Mansion; Cole Co. Hist. Soc. Museum; Supreme Court, State Highway, and other State buildings; and statuary on capitol grounds and the river front view.