- For an overview of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, see Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Saint Paul is the capital and second-largest city of the state of Minnesota in the United States. It is the county seat of Ramsey County. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 287,151, although that number had decreased to 276,963 in the Census' 2004 estimates. Saint Paul and the adjacent city of Minneapolis form the core of the area known as the Twin Cities.
Saint Paul began its life in the early 1800s when a collection of fur traders, explorers and missionaries came to the area for the protection that Fort Snelling offered. Many of these people had come south from Canada and were of French descent; others had come from the East after treaties with Native Americans officially opened the area.
In the early years the settlers lived close to the fort along the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, but as a whisky trade started to flourish the military officers in Fort Snelling banned them from the lands the fort controlled with one retired fur trader turned bootlegger, Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, particularly irritating the officials. By the early 1820s the area had become important as a trading center and a destination for settlers heading west and was known as Pig's Eye Landing. In 1841 Father Galtier established the St. Paul Church and that same year the name of the settlement was formally changed to Saint Paul in honor of the newly constructed church and Father Galtier's favorite saint.
The next 10 years saw continued growth in the area and in response to that, Minnesota was named a territory in 1849 with St Paul named as its capital. In 1850, the city narrowly survived a proposed law to move the capital to St. Peter when territorial legislator Joe Rolette disappeared with the approved bill. In 1854 St Paul incorporated as a city and in 1858 Minnesota was admitted to the union with St. Paul becoming the 32nd state capital.
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