Mile 156 — Jefferson City
Jefferson City was created by the Missouri State Legislature in 1821 with the specific purpose of serving as the new state capital, which was previously housed in St. Charles. Daniel Morgan Boone, the son of the famous frontiersman was the one who laid out the town. Jefferson City was named for President Thomas Jefferson, who served from 1801–1809. In 1825 the town was incorporated, having 31 families, and a few buildings including a general store, and hotel.
Following along the south bank of the Missouri River, Robert Campbell’s party would have traveled right through Jefferson City. In 1825, having been just recently incorporated, Jefferson City would have still been a small river front town, the state legislature did not make the move to Jefferson City until 1826. Robert’s narrative is brief and was written nearly 50 years later. He does not make any mention of passing through Jefferson City. However, Robert states “We travelled on the south side of the Missouri River… we found little settlements all along our route…” Jefferson City sits right on the southern bank of the Missouri, so this would have been one of the little settlements that Robert and company would have passed through in 1825, shortly after the town was incorporated.
There are no known depictions of 1820s Jefferson City, the earliest example that was found is the 1844 drawing seen above. Below are a few later depictions of the town, but these were many years after Robert passed through on his first journey to the West, and after Jefferson City became well established as Missouri’s capital city.