Most major US cities not originally British or US

Aug 2018
Southern Indiana
I would once again reiterate that even in the areas where the Spanish and French did plant outposts (such as in the southwest and along the Mississippi, respectively), their outposts were negligible little forts or missions, whereas the British and Americans founded robust cities. Virtually none of the French and Spanish settlements became anything significant until after they were taken over by the British or Americans.
Detroit and St Louis were significant prior to British control. Not sure what we are considering as a significant civilian population, but Detroit had a couple thousand and St. Louis even had several nearby satellite towns early in it's history.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
You miss the point my friend.
Nagasaki is a Japanese founded city.
The Portuguese may have built the first church there. But the oldest church there is currently the one you linked to. The missionaries who built that were French.

I was highlighting the false logic the betgo was using.
The oldest church in Philadelphia is Swedish. So it must be a Swedish City.
Which makes no sense when applied as a rule ... because using that logic Nagasaki would be French. Which we all agree is silly.
Likewise assuming just because they built a church there (or paid the English colonists too) after the cities foundation Philadelphia must be Swedish, ignoring other churches that may no longer exist OR the fact that Quaker’s didn’t need churches. It’s a mistaken line of thought.
Yes, I think now I understand what you say..... I thought you said French arrived the first ones. Gran Prix Japan for European was: 1st Portugal 2nd Spain 3rd: Netherland 4th Britain 5th France 6th... I dont know... In Asia the clasification often was the same: Portugal - Spain - Netherland... in islands.... maybe the order changes.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
But we are talking about the origin of major cities in the USA. Spanish cities in Central and Southern America’s are not pertinent to the debate.
Neither is Spanish exploring a place first. Which has not been contested.
Neither is their being a large Spanish/Mexican population.
Or settlements nearby ...,

We talk about the origin of major US cities, which is overwhelmingly American. I only include British as the OP lumped them with the Americans.

Both we agree about most USA cities were built by USA people....angloamerican at early stage...our argument was about Spain-France-Britain. British settled cities in East Coast from Maine to Florida and from Delaware to Indiana?

Spaniards and Frenchmen stablished cities, forts, trade post and missions in a widely range of what today are USA....about 22 or 25 states
you can think a Fort or a Mission is not a city.. but others can think a Fort or a Mission is a town... the begining of a Town...For you there are not matched.. not connection between Fuerte San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asís and San Francisco´s bay and the city of San Francisco...for me yes.



Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
It's possible that my title about "most" was not correct. My point was more about the French origin of several cities. It is obvious that cities with names beginning "San", "Los", or "Las" are Spanish.

Pittsburgh is known as the object of Braddock's Expedition of 1755, with the decisive British defeat at Monongehela, and Washington's role in organizing the retreat. It wasn't called Pittsburgh then, but Fort Dubesque. Detroit was infamously surrendered in the War of 1812. The Canadian song paraphrases the US commander saying "our town you have at your command", so I assume there was already a town. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806 began and ended in St. Louis, which was presumably already a city or town. I would assume that name is French, as there were like 18 King Louis' and the English and British Americans didn't usually name towns for saints. Philadelphia was in New Sweden and had Swedish residents at the time it was founded by William Penn.

You can look at the 50 biggest cities and saying they were mostly British or US founded, but most of the biggest cities, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco were not originally British or US.
Likes: martin76


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
In any case.. who built most of cities and whose built USA (with its pros and cons, its virtues and its defects) were not British, Dutch, French or Spanish Empires... but the own USA.

About Saint Louis was built by Frenchmen were Catholic king´s subjects (February 15th, 1764).. when Missouri and the whole of the Territory of Luisiana belonged to Spain. In fact, the name of the city was San Luis de Illinueses...

It is ironic... but Saint Louis or San Luis.... from 1764 to 2019... only belonged to France by... one day!!!! ... Welll only for a few hours!!

So.. how is counted Saint Louis? as French? Spanish? French-Spanish? USA?

The men stablished Saint Louis were:

Pierre Laclède born in France, in Pyreness, near the border.... and he died being Spaniard in Arkansas river....1778

And more extraordinary was Auguste Chouteau... he was born French in Lousiana 1750.. Whe he was 14 yo became Spaniard and his family was awarded by the Catholic King with the trade monopoly with the Osage tribe in Missouri river. In 1804, he became "Yankee"... or USA citizen.. and he died being USA... So, he lived 75 years (14 as French, 40 as Spaniard and 21 as Yankee)..

So.. Saint Louis...

Was a French city in Spanish soil? Spanish city in Spanish soil? A "Yankee" city in Spanish soil? a French city in USA? A USA city in USA? very funny and and useless .. we can't give nationalities to cities ... I think

Technically Catholic King´s subjects in lands that the Very Christian King had given him after SYW.... I think that´s the most objective definition.... Saint Louis or San Luis was a... BOURBON city!!!

Likes: Tulius