A town is a human settlement. Towns are larger than villages but smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish them vary between different parts of the world; the word town shares an origin with the German word Zaun, the Dutch word tuin, the Old Norse tun. The German word Zaun comes closest to the original meaning of the word: a fence of any material. An early borrowing from Celtic *dunom. In English and Dutch, the meaning of the word took on the sense of the space which these fences enclosed. In England, a town was a small community that could not afford or was not allowed to build walls or other larger fortifications, built a palisade or stockade instead. In the Netherlands, this space was a garden, more those of the wealthy, which had a high fence or a wall around them. In Old Norse tun means a place between farmhouses, the word is still used in a similar meaning in modern Norwegian. In Old English and Early and Middle Scots, the words ton, etc. could refer to diverse kinds of settlements from agricultural estates and holdings picking up the Norse sense at one end of the scale, to fortified municipalities.
If there was any distinction between toun and burgh as claimed by some, it did not last in practice as burghs and touns developed. For example, "Edina Burgh" or "Edinburgh" was built around a fort and came to have a defensive wall. In some cases, "town" is an alternative name for "city" or "village". Sometimes, the word "town" is short for "township". In general, today towns can be differentiated from townships, villages, or hamlets on the basis of their economic character, in that most of a town's population will tend to derive their living from manufacturing industry and public services rather than primary industry such as agriculture or related activities. A place's population size is not a reliable determinant of urban character. In many areas of the world, e.g. in India at least until recent times, a large village might contain several times as many people as a small town. In the United Kingdom, there are historical cities; the modern phenomenon of extensive suburban growth, satellite urban development, migration of city dwellers to villages has further complicated the definition of towns, creating communities urban in their economic and cultural characteristics but lacking other characteristics of urban localities.
Some forms of non-rural settlement, such as temporary mining locations, may be non-rural, but have at best a questionable claim to be called a town. Towns exist as distinct governmental units, with defined borders and some or all of the appurtenances of local government. In the United States these are referred to as "incorporated towns". In other cases the town lacks its own governance and is said to be "unincorporated". Note that the existence of an unincorporated town may be set out by other means, e.g. zoning districts. In the case of some planned communities, the town exists in the form of covenants on the properties within the town; the United States Census identifies many census-designated places by the names of unincorporated towns which lie within them. The distinction between a town and a city depends on the approach: a city may be an administrative entity, granted that designation by law, but in informal usage, the term is used to denote an urban locality of a particular size or importance: whereas a medieval city may have possessed as few as 10,000 inhabitants, today some consider an urban place of fewer than 100,000 as a town though there are many designated cities that are much smaller than that.
Australian geographer Thomas Griffith Taylor proposed a classification of towns based on their age and pattern of land use. He identified five types of town: Infantile towns, with no clear zoning Juvenile towns, which have developed an area of shops Adolescent towns, where factories have started to appear Early mature towns, with a separate area of high-class housing Mature towns, with defined industrial and various types of residential area In Afghanistan and cities are known as shār; as the country is an rural society with few larger settlements, with major cities never holding more than a few hundred thousand inhabitants before the 2000s, the lingual tradition of the country does not discriminate between towns and cities. In Albania "qytezë" means town, similar with the word for city. Although there is no official use of the term for any settlement. In Albanian "qytezë" means "small city" or "new city", while in ancient times "small residential center within the walls of a castle"; the center is a population group, larger than a village, smaller than a city.
Though the village is bigger than a hamlet In Australia, towns or "urban centre localities" are understood to be those centers of population not formally declared to be cities and having a population in excess of about 200 people. Centers too small to be called towns are understood to be a township. In addition, some local government entities are styled as towns in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, before the statewide amalgamations of th
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most identify, indicate whether or not they are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The racial categories represent a social-political construct for the race or races that respondents consider themselves to be and, "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country." OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the US Census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference." The race categories include both national-origin groups. Race and ethnicity are considered separate and distinct identities, with Hispanic or Latino origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnic categories, which are "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino".
However, the practice of separating "race" and "ethnicity" as different categories has been criticized both by the American Anthropological Association and members of US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1997, OMB issued a Federal Register notice regarding revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. OMB developed race and ethnic standards in order to provide "consistent data on race and ethnicity throughout the Federal Government; the development of the data standards stem in large measure from new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws." Among the changes, OMB issued the instruction to "mark one or more races" after noting evidence of increasing numbers of interracial children and wanting to capture the diversity in a measurable way and having received requests by people who wanted to be able to acknowledge their or their children's full ancestry rather than identifying with only one group. Prior to this decision, the Census and other government data collections asked people to report only one race.
The OMB states, "many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census. Race data are critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements; the data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions". "Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes. Data on Ethnic Groups are needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements." The 1790 United States Census was the first census in the history of the United States. The population of the United States was recorded as 3,929,214 as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws."The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in'two of the most public places within, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned...' and that'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the president."
This law along with U. S. marshals were responsible for governing the census. One third of the original census data has been lost or destroyed since documentation; the data was lost in 1790–1830 time period and included data from: Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia. Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age, free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons, slaves. Thomas Jefferson the Secretary of State, directed marshals to collect data from all thirteen states, from the Southwest Territory; the census was not conducted in Vermont until 1791, after that state's admission to the Union as the 14th state on March 4 of that year. There was some doubt surrounding the numbers, President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson maintained the population was undercounted; the potential reasons Washington and Jefferson may have thought this could be refusal to participate, poor public transportation and roads, spread out population, restraints of current technology.
No microdata from the 1790 population census is available, but aggregate data for small areas and their compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed; the 1820
Interstate 59 is an Interstate Highway located in the southeastern United States. It is a north–south route that spans 445.23 miles from a junction with I-10 and I-12 at Slidell, Louisiana, to a junction with I-24 near Wildwood, Georgia. The highway connects the metropolitan areas of Louisiana. S. Route 11 corridor for the entire distance. One-third of the route, spanning 153 miles from Meridian, Mississippi, to Birmingham, overlaps that of the east–west I-20. I-59 is a four-lane freeway along its entire route, other than a short stretch extending from north of Tuscaloosa, through Birmingham, where it widens to six lanes or more. I-59 spans 11.48 miles in Louisiana, the shortest distance in the four states through which it travels. The route begins at a partial cloverleaf interchange with I-10 and I-12 at the northeast corner of Slidell, a city in St. Tammany Parish. From this interchange, connections are made to New Orleans and Hammond, as well as Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Heading north, I-59 has two exits serving the town of Pearl River, where it begins a concurrency with US 11.
Afterward, the highway crosses the West Pearl River and passes through an interchange with Old US 11, a portion of the pre-interstate alignment serving the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. I-59 travels through the Honey Island Swamp for 6 miles before crossing the main branch of the Pearl River into Mississippi. In Mississippi, I-59 continues to run parallel with US 11, traversing rural areas, but going through or bypassing the towns of Picayune, Hattiesburg, Moselle and Meridian. For its length in Mississippi, I-59 either travels concurrent with, or runs close to, US 11. Between the towns of Pearl River and Picayune, US 11 travels concurrent with I-59; the highway has concurrencies with US 98 in Hattiesburg. A notoriously sharp S-curve, at milepost 96 in Laurel, was the subject of a large reconstruction project; those sharp curves were the legacy of an overpass over the Southern Railway on a town bypass with design dating from before the Interstate Highways, they featured a 40 mph speed limit, one of the lowest anywhere on the Interstate Highway System.
This work was completed in 2009. Just west of Meridian, I-20 joins I-59 and these two highways continue together for 145 miles, across the border with Alabama to and through Birmingham; the exit numbers are given as those of I-59. At 4:00 p.m. on August 27, 2005, for the first time in its history, the southbound lanes of I-59 were temporarily redirected northward to accommodate evacuation for Hurricane Katrina. This was a agreed to joint plan by the states of Mississippi and Louisiana called contraflow lane reversal; the program began at the Louisiana–Mississippi state line and continued 21 miles north to Poplarville. I-59 and I-20 travel together for about 40 percent of their route through Alabama, passing northeast through Tuscaloosa before parting ways in eastern Birmingham. In Birmingham, many wrecks and accidents occur near the cross-over interchange of I-20/I-59 and I-65. On two occasions, 18-wheelers crashed and burned fiercely enough to melt the support beams of overpasses. Beginning in eastern Birmingham, I-59 continues on its own northeast, passing by Gadsden and Fort Payne in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, before entering Georgia.
I-59 from Gadsden at mile marker 182 to Stephen's Gap at mile marker 193 had degraded over the decades since it was opened into a rough concrete highway. Between 2010 and 2014, a construction project called "Project 59" took place between Gadsden and Fort Payne; this project consisted of reconstructing the Interstate Highway with unbonded concrete as well as modifications to the width and vertical clearance of the bridges and overpasses in the segment. I-59 has a short trek through Georgia, with only three exits before ending at I-24 several miles west of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Wildwood, Georgia. Within Georgia it carries unsigned designated as State Route 406 for internal Georgia Department of Transportation purposes. I-359 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama I-459 in Birmingham, Alabama I-759 in Gadsden, Alabama U. S. Roads portal Media related to Interstate 59 at Wikimedia Commons
Huntsville is a city located in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County; the city extends south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871; the Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014, it grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list; the first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people.
The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, pressures from the United States government had depopulated the area prior to 1805; that year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government; the area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope. Twickenham was planned, with streets laid out on the northeast to southwest direction based on the flow of Big Spring. However, due to anti-British sentiment during this period, the name was changed to "Huntsville" to honor John Hunt, forced to move to other land south of the new city. Both John Hunt and LeRoy Pope were Freemasons and charter members of Helion Lodge #1, the oldest Lodge in Alabama.
In 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated town in Alabama. However, the recognized "founding" year of the city is the year of John Hunt's arrival; the city's sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955, the bicentennial was celebrated in 2005. David Wade arrived in Huntsville in 1817, he built the David Wade House on the north side of what is now Bob Wade Lane just east of Mt. Lebanon Road, it had six rough Doric columns on the portico. During the Great Depression, the house was measured as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey to be included in the government's Archive and was photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston for the project; this project put architects and photographers to work to create an inventory of documentation and photographs of significant properties across the country. The house had been abandoned for years and was deteriorated, it was torn down in 1952. Today an imposing structure itself, survives at the property. Huntsville's quick growth was from wealth generated by the railroad industries.
Many wealthy planters moved into the area from Virginia and the Carolinas. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen's large cabinetmaking shop; the 44 delegates meeting there wrote a constitution for the new state of Alabama. In accordance with the new state constitution, Huntsville became Alabama's first capital when the state was admitted to the Union; this was a temporary designation for one legislative session only. The capital was moved to more central cities: to Cahawba to Tuscaloosa, to Montgomery. In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was constructed through Huntsville, becoming the first railway to link the Atlantic seacoast with the lower Mississippi River. Huntsville opposed secession from the Union in 1861, but provided many men for the Confederacy's efforts; the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, led by Col. Egbert J. Jones of Huntsville, distinguished itself at the Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, the first major encounter of the American Civil War; the Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war and were present when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
Eight generals of the war were born near Huntsville, evenly split with four on each side. On the morning of April 11, 1862, Union troops led by General Ormsby M. Mitchel seized Huntsville in order to sever the Confederacy's rail communications and gain access to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Huntsville was the control point for the Western Division of the Memphis & Charleston, by controlling this railroad the Union had a direct connection to Charleston, South Carolina. During the first occupation, the Union officers occupied many of the larger homes in the city while the other men camped on the outskirts. In the initial occupation, the Union troops searched for both Confederate troops hiding in the town and weapons. After they had established themselves, the occupying federals did not burn or pillage the city of Huntsville, though towns around it were sometimes targeted. Treatment toward the town was civil; the Union troops were forced to retreat some months but returned to Huntsville in the fall of 1863 and thereafter used the city as a base of operations for the remainder of the war.
While many homes and villages in the surrounding countryside were burned in retaliation for the active guerrilla warfare in the area, Huntsville itself was spared because it housed elements of the Union Army. After the Civil War, H
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U. S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state. Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State"; the state tree is the longleaf pine, the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery; the largest city by population is Birmingham. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana. From the American Civil War until World War II, like many states in the southern U. S. suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Similar to other former slave states, Alabamian legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and otherwise discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until at least the 1970s.
Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one based on agriculture to one with diversified interests; the state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, finance, aerospace, mineral extraction, education and technology. The European-American naming of the Alabama River and state was derived from the Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers on the upper reaches of the river. In the Alabama language, the word for a person of Alabama lineage is Albaamo; the suggestion that "Alabama" was borrowed from the Choctaw language is unlikely. The word's spelling varies among historical sources; the first usage appears in three accounts of the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540: Garcilaso de la Vega used Alibamo, while the Knight of Elvas and Rodrigo Ranjel wrote Alibamu and Limamu in transliterations of the term.
As early as 1702, the French called the tribe the Alibamon, with French maps identifying the river as Rivière des Alibamons. Other spellings of the name have included Alibamu, Albama, Alibama, Alabamu, Allibamou. Sources disagree on the word's meaning; some scholars suggest the word comes from amo. The meaning may have been "clearers of the thicket" or "herb gatherers", referring to clearing land for cultivation or collecting medicinal plants; the state has numerous place names of Native American origin. However, there are no correspondingly similar words in the Alabama language. An 1842 article in the Jacksonville Republican proposed it meant "Here We Rest." This notion was popularized in the 1850s through the writings of Alexander Beaufort Meek. Experts in the Muskogean languages have not found any evidence to support such a translation. Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before the advent of European colonization. Trade with the northeastern tribes by the Ohio River began during the Burial Mound Period and continued until European contact.
The agrarian Mississippian culture covered most of the state from 1000 to 1600 AD, with one of its major centers built at what is now the Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville, Alabama. This is the second-largest complex of the classic Middle Mississippian era, after Cahokia in present-day Illinois, the center of the culture. Analysis of artifacts from archaeological excavations at Moundville were the basis of scholars' formulating the characteristics of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Contrary to popular belief, the SECC appears to have no direct links to Mesoamerican culture, but developed independently; the Ceremonial Complex represents a major component of the religion of the Mississippian peoples. Among the historical tribes of Native American people living in present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were the Cherokee, an Iroquoian language people. While part of the same large language family, the Muskogee tribes developed distinct cultures and languages. With exploration in the 16th century, the Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Alabama.
The expedition of Hernando de Soto passed through Mabila and other parts of the state in 1540. More than 160 years the French founded the region's first European settlement at Old Mobile in 1702; the city was moved to the current site of Mobile in 1711. This area was claimed by the French from 1702 to 1763 as part of La Louisiane. After the French lost to the British in the Seven Years' War, it became part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1783. After the United States victory in the American Revolutionary War, the territory was divided between the United States and Spain; the latter retained control of this western territory from 1783 until the surrender of the Spanish garrison at Mobile to U. S. forces on April 13, 1813. Thomas Bassett, a loyalist to the British monarchy during the Revolutionary era, was one of the earliest white settlers in the state