Tallahassee /ˌtæləˈhæsi/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Leon County, and is the 126th largest city in the United States. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida, then the Florida Territory, in 1824. In 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 181,376, and theTallahassee metropolitan area is 375,751 as of 2014.
Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, ranked the nation's forty-third best public university by U.S. News & World Report. It is also home to the Florida A&M University, the country's largest historically black university by total enrollment. Tallahassee Community College is a large community college which serves mainly as a feeder school to both Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Tallahassee qualifies as significant college town with a student population exceeding 70,000.
Tallahassee is a center for trade and agriculture in the Big Bend (Florida) region and Southwest Georgia and is served by Tallahassee Regional Airport and Interstate 10. As a capital city, Tallahassee is home to the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor's Mansion, and nearly 30 state agency headquarters. The city is also known for its large number of law firms, lobbying organizations, trade associations and professional associations, including the Florida Bar and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is also a recognized regional center for scientific research, and home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
During the 17th century several Spanish missions were established in the territory of the Apalachee to procure food and labor for the colony at St. Augustine. The largest, Mission San Luis de Apalachee, has been partially reconstructed by the state of Florida. The name "Tallahassee" is aMuskogean Indian word often translated as "old fields" or "old town", and it likely stems from the Creek (later called Seminole) Indians who migrated from Georgia and Alabama to this region in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They found large areas of cleared land previously occupied by the Apalachee tribe. Earlier, the Mississippian Indians built mounds near Lake Jackson around AD 1200, which survive today in the Lake Jackson Archaeological State Park.
The expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez encountered the Apalachees, although it did not reach the site of Tallahassee. Hernando de Soto and his expedition occupied the Apalachee town of Anhaica in what is now Tallahassee in the winter of 1538–1539.
Based on archaeological excavations this site is now known to be located about 0.5 miles (800 m) east of the present Florida State Capitol. The DeSoto encampment is believed to be the first place Christmas was celebrated in the continental United States.
During the First Seminole War, General Andrew Jackson fought two separate skirmishes in and around Tallahassee. The first battle took place on November 12, 1817. Chief Neamathla, of the village of Fowltown, just west of present day Tallahassee had refused Jackson's orders to relocate. Jackson responded by entering the village, burning it to the ground, and driving off its occupants. The Indians later retaliated, by killing 50 soldiers and civilians. Jackson reentered Florida in March 1818. According to Jackson's adjutant, Colonel Robert Butler, they "advanced on the Indian village called Tallahasse (sic) [where] two of the enemy were made prisoner."