Talk:List of capitals in the United States

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What about moving this list to simply "List of U.S. state capitals"? The current title seems overly cumbersome... - Seth Ilys 23:33, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The title you suggest might better fit U.S._state#List_of_states which includes only current ones. -- User:Docu
Perhaps. I don't interpret the title that narrowly, but that's just me. How about "List of current and former U.S. state capitals" ? - Seth Ilys 14:45, 4 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Featured list nomination (June 2005)[edit]

Object for now - generally, an excellent list and worthy of featured status, but: it needs some references; would it be possible to add some images (say, small icons of state flags, like the UN list below); and I'm not keen on some aspects of the presentation: CAPITAL LETTERS FOR STATES are off-putting, it should be possible to make the tables the same width (using % in the table heading), and some colours (other than white and grey) would make it more interesting to look at. -- ALoan (Talk) 17:43, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Requests for new additions[edit]

I see a bunch of capitals/territories not listed (but I don't have information on), so in this section we can request additions to the list. Let me start:

  • Vermont (when independent)
  • Plymouth Colony (pre merger with Massachusetts)
  • Louisiana (when Spanish colony)
  • New Mexico (when Spanish colony)
  • Florida (can we distinguish between East and West Florida when under Spanish control?)
  • The State of Franklin
  • Oregon Country (British and US capitals, during period when both claimed it)

NoSeptember (talk) 23:24, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

-Acjelen 00:49, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Oklahoma Territory (if it's Guthrie, the Guthrie line should indicate as such)
  • Indian Territory (if it ever had a single capital)
  • the capitals of the various nations in Indian Territory following the Removal

-Acjelen 00:35, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

NoSeptember 15:39, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • I think the proper place for many of these would be [[1]] - Johntex\talk 19:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Flag Problem[edit]

Why are the flags for Massachusetts and Michigan the same? Paul, in Saudi 04:14, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I corrected that earlier (Mass. flag in Mich.), but Jengod is doing major edits of the page and reintroduced the error. I don't want to create an edit conflict, so I'll wait until he is done and fix it again. NoSeptember (talk) 04:44, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why is the Confederate Navy Jack being used to represent the CSA? A much better historical choice would be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd national flags of the CSA. --Nemesisss 14:18, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Flags of current states[edit]

As the list is one of former (and current) capitals, the flags of the current states are, to some extent, anachronistic. Thus, I'd like to remove them. Besides, they enlarge the list excessively. -- User:Docu

They were requested multiple times by the users on the FLC page. I agree about the anachronism, but then again...these are defined by current state borders, and these are current state flags, so it does follow conceptually. jengod 17:42, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Capitals of USA/CSA[edit]

The list of capitals of the USA and CSA have gone from here - where did they go? -- ALoan (Talk) 18:11, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

They are now incorporated into the main table, organized by state. jengod 18:35, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
Because the table is not just the states' capitals, but all once and former capitals located within each U.S. state. The Confederate States of America article has a listing of that nation's capitals in a clear list. -Acjelen 18:40, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I see - good stuff. -- ALoan (Talk) 18:45, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Regarding the Confederate stuff: There's a section on "Unrecognized" capitals. Shouldn't the CSA capitals be in there? I'm not trying to provoke a fight, but as far as I know no country ever recognized the CSA as an independent country.

-- HowardW 10:15pm, Jan 9, 2007 —Preceding comment was added at 03:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


I updated the list of permanent Mississippi territorial and state capitals. Could someone be so kind as to add the source information? (Mississippi Historical Society) Thanks. -- Fingers-of-Pyrex 22:17, 2005 Jun 10 (UTC)

Got this. :) jengod 22:35, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
DONE jengod 22:40, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Capitals in Oklahoma[edit]

This information comes from: Historical Atlas of Oklahoma by John W. Morris and Edwin C. McReynolds (Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 1965). Morris and McReynolds give no dates. No unitary capital for Indian Territory is given. The proposed State of Sequoyah is discussed and mapped, but no proposed capital is indicated. -Acjelen 22:31, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This should be in a separate article. Doesn't every Indian nation in existance today have a reservation capital? And many indian nations had capitals throughout history around the country starting during colonial times. There are probably hundreds of these and would completely overwhelm this article. A new article linked from here in the introduction would be nice though. NoSeptember (talk) 23:09, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Except, NoSeptember, the Indian nations of Indian Territory were neither reservations nor de-facto power centers, but territories within the United States. One way to look at it would be to say that before statehood, Oklahoma had six territorial capitals simultaneously instead of the usual one. -Acjelen 01:11, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You may be right. If otoh they are subordinate to the Indian territory government they may be considered to be similar to a county seat. I don't know, but the legal status should be sourced to justify inclusion in the list. NoSeptember (talk) 02:06, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
However, the situation is more complicated. There are not just the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma. There are dozens of tribes,each with its capital in Oklahoma. For example, the Osage Nation capital is in Pawhuska. Dsmdgold
I think these will need accompanying dates or it would be cited as a reason to not feature this list. jengod 01:30, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)

I think the Five Nations capitals should be kept as they were the equivalent to Territory capitals at the time - there was no "Indian Territory" capital. Maps of the time show them clearly [2]. We could add the Osage capital of Pawhuska (est. 1879) as it's usually shown as well even though it became part of Oklahoma Territory rather than Indian Territory. I'm having trouble documenting the Choctaw capital as maps put it at Atoka but web references put it at Tuskahoma and they definitely are not the same place. Kmusser 01:39, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

de facto capitals[edit]

Should we really call Danville the capital of the Confederacy? Just because the government fled there doesn't make it the capital. By that logic, Bordeaux was the capital of France a couple of times. john k 16:00, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If the government (legislature) formally had a session there, then it is a capital. Look at the brief tenures of some of the US capitals (Lancaster, PA for example, also some in NJ and MD I think), they fled Philly when the British approached and met in session in those places, so they are former capitals. I assume Danville is the same situation. NoSeptember 16:20, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
On what basis do we say that if the legislature formally had a session somewhere, it counts as a capital? The Dutch capital is at Amsterdam, and the Dutch parliament has never met there - it always meets at the Hague, which is not a capital. Again, the French parliament met at Tours and Bordeaux for brief periods during wars when Paris was threatened. Does this make them the capital/ On what basis do you claim that capital means "any city where the legislature has met, ever?" john k 17:12, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The only comment I'll make on this issue is that most of the entities where this comes up were not nearly as settled as the Netherlands or France--they were crumbling rebel states (CSA), far-off frontier outposts (Alaska) or newly established political entities still getting their sea legs (many of the territories and the early USA). I think in those kinds of cases, the seat of legislative activity, in lieu of a Congressional or otherwise legally mandated government, is a good situation for calling something a capital. jengod 18:32, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
I agree in most cases, but it seems to me that Danville is precisely equivalent to the French example. john k 18:43, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It is largely a definitional issue. The US has a tradition of defining their capitals as I described above and recognizes Lancaster as a capital of one day. If other countries choose to define things differently, that is fine too. In fact many governments were historically centered on the monarch, while the US has always defined the legislature as the "first" branch of government, so different perspectives are to be expected. We should accept the governnment's own call.
Also, to be technical, the US government did not recognize the CSA as a country, so from a US legal standpoint the CSA never had any capital, nonetheless, I don't think anyone objects to listing CSA capitals. NoSeptember 03:29, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I suppose the question then would be whether or not the CSA viewed Danville as being its capital for that week... john k 05:17, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Precisely, and since their traditions are those of America, they almost certainly do regard it as their capital. NoSeptember 14:11, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Almost certainly did, no? There is no CSA anymore. john k 14:43, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Their view at the time matters, not our view 140 years later. If asked at the time, I think you would hear them say "Yes, we do consider Danville to be our capital." As stated above, whether the CSA ever existed is a legal question, the US contends that this was simply an internal rebelliion against the US government. NoSeptember 15:41, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Indeed - although the official legal theory is unclear, given that states which seceded had to be readmitted to the Union. So while the CSA did not exist, it would appear that (maybe) secession is recognized to have had some legal effect. Although this is denied, as well...(I think it'd've been better, in terms of precedent, if they'd not gone through the whole readmission rigmarole, since that seems to give some legitimacy to the acts of secession). john k 17:11, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Readmission can be justified by the constitutional provision that all states have a republican form of government (and a state controlled by a rebellion psuedo-government does not); also each house of the US Congress has the right to rule on the seating of its members. So readmission is not an admission of the legal existance of the CSA. NoSeptember 19:57, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Oh, certainly it is not an admission of the legal existence of the CSA. But it does seem to be an admission that it was not just individuals who were in rebellion, but the states themselves... But this is getting rather off-topic. john k 21:39, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Brookeville, MD[edit]

The source cited for stating that Brookeville, MD, was the nation'a capital for a day does not seem to acutally mean it was the capital; it seems to just be saying it to make itself sound important. Just becuase the President worked from a house at that location does not mean it's a capital of the United States, but it simply seems to be that town's way of talking about it's history. I think a source that specifically states that the nation's capital was legally changed to Brookeville, MD, for a day needs to be found (which I doubt there is any, becuase I doubt it ever happened) or that it should be removed from the list (or at least put in quotes with an explanation saying that it was never legally a capital or something). //MrD9 00:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Major rewrite[edit]

I hope everyone likes my changes (my version, old version) to this article, cuz it was a hellalotta work.

I created a separate section for the U.S. national capitals and the CSA capitals and put all the state capitals in one giant table. The giant table has the disadvantages that it's harder to edit and that you can't jump to a specific state from a TOC, but I feel that it is easier to read and understand, and it is able to pack more information (like statehood year, complete chronology of capitals, etc.) into less space.

I also updated the way the References are built, so when editing the page, you can find the reference information right alongside the rest of the states information instead of having to go way down to the References section. This, I hope, will encourage people to add references.

When doing this work I found that there were many states with incomplete information; the new layout makes it more obvious that certain information (especially dates) is left out.

Lemme know what you think   JEK   19:30, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Great. I like it. Congrats. -- User:Docu


There is a missing capital of Wisconsin Territory. It was in Burlington, Iowa. Here's a website for citation purpose: [3]. I believe that the order was: 1) Belmont (?-1836), 2) Burlington (1837), and 3) Madison (1838-present). I'll leave the complicated Wikicode for someone else. I knew the capital was in Iowa for a short time, so I looked it up. Cheers! --Royalbroil 04:39, 10 July 2006 (UTC) (WikiProject Wisconsin member)


I couldn't find any evidence that Baltimore ever served as Maryland's state capital so I removed it. Added citation for Annapolis being named capital in 1694. If someone has a citation for Baltimore feel free to add it back in. Kmusser 13:43, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Featured List nomination[edit]

I think this list is just about ready for a featured list nomination. It failed about a year ago for obvious reasons. What more needs to be done? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 16:26, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I finished filling in the obvious gaps. It could probably still use more citations. The dates for Louisiana in particular were kind of sketchy. There are probably more things in the notes column that could be wikified (like "colonial capital" linking to the appropriate colony page if there is one). Kmusser 18:14, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, I didn't include it because I couldn't find good documentation on the dates but for Oklahoma apparently the Choctaw capital moved around quite a bit.Kmusser 18:45, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
One more thing, we need to add capitals for current U.S. territories - American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Lovelac7 23:38, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily. -- User:Docu
Since the title of this article is List of capitals in the United States, I think this is a good idea. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 19:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

A few more things need to be cited, but the whole article is looking pretty good. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 01:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


Silly question, but should London be put down as a national capital (for the 13 colonies)? Lovelac7 23:40, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

No, it's not "in" (within) the United States. -- User:Docu

National capitals[edit]

Should not be in the state capital list; for example, Princeton, despite the presence of the Continental Congress, was not the NJ Capital in 1783; including Princeton makes both the NJ sequence and the US sequence harder to follow. Similarly, Richmond has been the capital of Virginia since 1780. (The question of whether, and in what sense, Alexandria or Wheeling were capitals of Virginia is, I think, best avoided.) Septentrionalis 23:28, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Regarding your change on Perth Amboy and Burlington being joint capitals of New Jersey: When you said that both towns "functioned" as capitals, do you mean they acted simultaneously as capitals, or did the seat of government rotate between the two towns like the Connecticut Legislature did between Hartford and New Haven? --MCB 10/26/06 copied from my talk Septentrionalis 03:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
It depends on which function of government you consider; I believe the Colonial Assembly did more or less alternate, but official records and offices were kept in both places, one for each Jersey. Again, on the eve of the Revolution, the Assembly met in Burlington, but the Governor's official residence was in Perth Amboy. Septentrionalis 03:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

To address part of your comment. I changed the heading of the section "state capitals" to "state capitals and capital cities by state". This describes better the table that follows. -- User:Docu

Date of Statehood[edit]

For the original 13 colonies, using the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence (which declared "That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States" [4]) as the date of statehood is a nice historical touch, but I believe the date of their admission to the Union (1787 and later) to be equally (if not more) relevant. Consider that this article pertains to states that are currently in the Union and not American states that were at one time independent.

I therefore propose adding "Admitted in..." for states that joined after a period of legal independence (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Rhode Island).

--Yitzhak1995 19:24, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree, though the precise wording is negotiable. Newyorkbrad 21:38, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Neither is correct. The 13 states were already part of the country when the current constitution was written. If you really want to catch the moment when a state went from being an independent entity to being a state as part of the USA, you would have to use the dates of ratification of the Articles of Confederation, when they actually surrendered their sovereignty. But why have a statehood date at all? That is not what this article is about. NoSeptember 01:33, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Interesting points....

The relevant date is the date that the state's ratifying convention agreed to ratify the U.S. Constitution. On that date, as interpreted in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) by John Marshall and in the American Civil War, each state underwent a critical transformation, in which it transferred certain crucial governmental authorities to the Federal government, and the state entirely changed its nature. A ratification year would not remove any information currently there, would not make the article any longer (vertically), and would account for the fact that states didn't surrender any crucial sovereignties to form the Articles of Confederation government. A crucial point of constitutional law is that the Articles of Confederation were ratified by states, but the Constitution was ratified by people within states.

--Yitzhak1995 09:22, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Traditionally, the date of statehood for the first 13 is the date when the state ratified the constitution, and the date of statehood for the rest is the date Congress granted statehood. Certainly the first eight states didn't actually transfer any sovereignty until New Hampshire ratified it on June 21, 1788, since there was no Constitution to transfer sovereignty under. You could say that no sovereignty was transfered until Congress met March 3, 1789, since there was no government to transfer sovereignty to. Some state ratifying conventions explicitly made their ratification contingent on the eventual adoption of a bill of rights, so one could argue they didn't transfer sovereignty until 1790. As for whether the Articles of Confederation involved a transfer of some sovereignty to the US, I really can't say for sure. One could argue that it did in at least some minor way. This is a case where the traditional date is really the best we can do.  Randall Bart   Talk  20:36, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Messed Up Table[edit]

Someone who has more experience with tables, or indeed the person who designed this table - needs to fix it up. The top few states do not have a line between the name of the state and the various capitals. But, the line appears at Milledgeville in Georgia and goes on down the page, sometimes it disappears between Milledgeville and Iowa City (Tabbing in Firefox), but from Iowa City down to the bottom of the table there is a line there that is not present at the top of the table. I'm not sure why it appears and disappears when tabbing backwards and forwards - but it does. But it bothers me that the table is not consistent. Could someone either get rid of this line altogether - or make sure it applies to the whole table and doesn't appear and disappear when tabbing. Cheers. 06:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it's just a Firefox bug, because the table syntax seems to be all okay, and Firefox sometimes renders it correctly. IE doesn't seem to have a problem with it at all. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 16:06, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Constitution - missing chunk of time[edit]

Noticed while looking through the list that there is a break in it.

So what was the capital between 1800-05-14 and 1800-11-17 ? Ar-wiki 19:07, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Pro-Union state government of Virginia[edit]

I do not agree with the comment concerning Wheeling as the capital of Virginia. From 1861 to 1863, Virginia had two capitals, one for the state of Virginia in the CSA, which controlled that part of Virginia generally from the Shenandoah Valley southeast, and one for the state of Virginia in the USA, which controlled the part of Virginia northwest of the valley, with its capital at Wheeling. It was this government of Virginia that gave the consent required by Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution to "form or erect" a new state within its jurisdiction, that is the State of West Virginia. Wheeling should be included in the list of capitals of Virginia and of West Virginia from 1861-1863, with a notation for Virginia that this was the government recognized by the United States. Richmond was most certainly not the capital of West Virginia during this period. --

I added appropriate comments to Virginia and West Virginia. --Buaidh 19:33, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Dates of Statehood[edit]

There are two meanings of the word statehood: (1) the attainment of independence from colonization or occupation, and (2) membership as a recognized state within a formal political union. For each of the original thirteen colonies, the first date of statehood occurred when they declared their independence from the United Kingdom, and the second when they ratified the United States Constitution and joined the current Government of the United States.

Dates of Statehood 1776
State Date Action Date Action
New Hampshire 1776-01-05 state constitution approved 1788-06-21 ratification of United States Constitution
South Carolina 1776-03-15 state constitution approved 1788-05-23
Rhode Island 1776-05-04 declaration of independence 1790-05-29
Connecticut 1776-06-18 declaration of independence 1788-01-09
Virginia 1776-06-29 commonwealth (state) constitution approved 1788-06-25
New Jersey 1776-07-02 state constitution approved 1787-12-18
Massachusetts 1776-07-04 United States Declaration of Independence 1788-02-06
Pennsylvania 1787-12-12
New York 1788-07-26
Maryland 1788-04-28
Delaware 1787-12-07
North Carolina 1789-11-21
Georgia 1788-01-02

For the purpose of this article, clearly the first date of statehood should be used. --Buaidh 20:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Missing capitals?[edit]

Are there any capitals which should be included in this list, from looking at List_of_historical_unrecognized_countries#Americas

Should these be included? I am not sure they were very widely recognized as independent states, but some might have been recognized by some other countries. Are there any others? --Filll 16:27, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

If I do not hear any complaints, I will fold these into the article.--Filll 16:04, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't know - those are all self-declared entities that were never recognized by any other countries, though that does put them in the same category as the California and Vermont republics which are already listed. Maybe split them off into a new subsection for former unrecognized countries within the U.S.? Kmusser 17:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

This sounds eminently reasonable. I think the value of this is that we can get a semi-complete list eventually of all the places in the United States that were ever the capital of some region.--Filll 19:24, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

If we include these goofy self-declared "Republics", then please don't forget to include the Celtic People's Republic of Buaidhistan and its imperial capital at Last Chance, Colorado. --Buaidh 19:35, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The difference is that even though they were unrecognized they did have de facto control over their territory for some period of time.Kmusser 13:48, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I made a first cut at it. We still need a flag for the Republic of Indian Stream. We also need to double check the dates for the capitals of the Republic of the Rio Grande and maybe add some references. I am not sure that Mikasuke is the same as Miccosukee, Florida although I think it is. I have asked at the reference desk for assistance.--Filll 22:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Italics or not?[edit]

In the main text right above the table, it says that states which have capitals that are not in a metropolitan area are italicized. Since none of the states are italicized in the current version, we should either remove this line, or italicize the appropriate states. Galaxiana (talk) 03:46, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Removed. The fact that metropolitan populations are listed means that we probably don't need to italicize also. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 09:11, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

De Facto Capital of Oregon?[edit]

I object to Fort Vancouver being listed as the de facto capital of Oregon for a couple of reasons. #1, Fort Vancouver was a British military installation. It wasn't American, which puts it outside of the ambit of the article, and no legislative actions occurred there. The closest thing to a democratic process that occurred probably was corporate business. #2, any provincial government of the Oregon Country was largely run by set up by Americans in Champoeg, beginning in 1841. #3, the inclusion of Fort Vancouver as a de facto capital is a slippery slope. Before Fort Vancouver, what was the "de facto capital?" Fort George? How about before that? Astoria? Fort Astoria? Fort Clatsop? Lewis & Clark's canoe? The inclusion of Fort Vancouver leads to absurdities that are beyond contemplation. If no one has any objections, I will remove it. Wilkyisdashiznit (talk) 17:44, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree, and I removed Fort Vancouver from both Oregon and Washington. --Buaidh (talk) 18:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Maps of former capital locations[edit]

I think it would be really nice, beginning with the U.S. national capital and continuing with each state, to have a map of all the locations that have served as capital. Among the states, this would be especially interesting for those where some of the former capitals are outside the current state boundaries. — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 09:15, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


There really needs to be a map here. Use this perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Most populous?[edit]

Phoenix is noted as the most populous state capital, but in the same table both Boston and Atlanta have higher pops. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jankow28 (talkcontribs) 01:13, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I think you may be confused. The cities of Boston and Atlanta both have about 500k residents, compared to Phoenix which has 1.5 million. The table doesn't go by metropolitan areas which technically contain many cities. -epicAdam(talk) 18:20, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Confederate States alternate history info[edit]

Not sure enough about what the writer intended to say to attempt a correction, but the following sentence seems to be either wildly inaccurate based on what I remember reading, or in need of a source citation? "The military bases were bombed in the 1980's as a result of World War ll eventually the president (at the time was Lincoln) told everyone to |Reconstruction]]. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Baton Rouge[edit]

Why is Baton Rouge not listed as the capital of Louisiana? (talk) 20:40, 21 April 2009 (UTC)Rael

Vandalism, I reverted it. Kmusser (talk) 21:49, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Carson City is a border city?[edit]

"Only two of the state capitals, Trenton, New Jersey and Carson City, Nevada border another state..." It's at least 25 miles from Carson City to either Brockway or Stateline. Do you think we can really say that Carson City borders another state? Petershank (talk) 05:48, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Answered my own question by reading the note. Petershank (talk) 21:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Trenton is officially part of the New York metropolitan area and formerly Delaware Valley.[edit]

Trenton is part of the New York metro area starting in 2000.

On the Trenton page, it says this:

"Following the 2000 U.S. Census, Trenton was shifted from the Philadelphia metropolitan area to the New York metropolitan area.[2] However, Mercer County constitutes its own metropolitan statistical area, formally known as the Trenton-Ewing MSA.[3]"

meaning that it is now part of the New York metro area.

When it says "Metropolitan population" on this list, does it mean the MSA here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sega31098 (talkcontribs) 23:44, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This list means the city's own local MSA (if it has one), not the larger area in which it may be situated. Best, epicAdam(talk) 00:02, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


Should Manila be included somewhere in the list? The Philippine Islands were once an insular U.S. Territory, and then a Commonwealth of the U.S., ending in independence in 1946. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:54, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Former National Capitols[edit]

Princeton, NJ was a temporary capital for four months in 1783 (1). I have also heard that Easton, PA was a capitol for a very brief time also, though I don't have an accurate source on this. Were these "temporary capitals" excluded purposely? If the Easton claim can be verified and there are other cities which were never intended to be the permanent seats of national government, should a separate section be made in this article? Brendanmccabe (talk) 02:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean? There already is, and Princeton is listed for the time period you cite. If you find a cite for Easton by all means add it. Kmusser (talk) 19:53, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Date of statehood[edit]

The info under this column heading is year of statehood; one or the other should change. Ideally it could be invisibly sorted by order of statehood (though no one knows whether North or South Dakota got signed first, it got listed first alphabetically) even if left with years. As it is, sorting by years frequently does not end up in order of statehood, and even dates will occasionally sort South Dakota before North Dakota, based on the previous sort. I'm willing to make the alteration, but which direction should be chosen? (talk) 03:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Messed up Table: Historical State Capitals[edit]

There's Stuff under Alabama in the lower table that's all messed up... beyond my ability to edit wiki table data RobinInTexas (talk) 17:16, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't see where there is an issue... looks fine to me. Best, epicAdam(talk) 18:23, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Capitals vs. Capitols[edit]

The "United States" subsection "Former national capitals" appears to be, in fact, "Former national capitols" as it lists various buildings in which Congress has met. Thus, Philadelphia, PA, is listed four different times, including twice consecutively, as a separate capital. Others may have a better sense than I do how best to respond to this concern. Czrisher (talk) 16:40, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Vermont was never independent![edit]

Vermont agitated for independence, and acted freely inside the prospects of New Hampshire, New York, and Quebec--all of which greedily eyed her land as extensions of their own. At no time was it ever its own country any more than Rhode Island, which existed in limbo as the first to break free of Britain and the last to join the Union. Vermont's sole recognition comes from its own activists and big-headed historians. The Haldimand Affair was just about some Loyalists of the Benedict Arnold stripe that got nowhere other than secession from New Hampshire and New York, as the 14th State of the Union--beating secession by Kentucky from Virginia and Tennessee from North Carolina, or even Maine from Massachusetts and West Virginia from Virginia. The Bear Flag Republic of California, State of Franklin, State of Jefferson, Transylvania, etc.--all of these are of comparable weight to Vermont and the rest, as unrecognized microstates. Even the Confederacy had greater recognition and acknowledgment, rightly or wrongly, because it was a truly national issue. The Confederacy chose an alternative capital--Richmond instead of Washington--one they could control.

Look here at the National Atlas of the United States:


Look here at the state cessions:

United States land claims and cessions 1782-1802.png

The burden is on the editors who inserted their POV, to put forth reputable sources stating that Vermont was an independent country. This issue has come up time and again with the Confederacy, and it is strange that Vermont activists should not face the same scrutiny. There is no consensus that Vermont was a recognized independent state. Nobody and nothing goes unchallenged at Wikipedia! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

It sounds like there should be a reliable source provided asserting Vermont independence, or it should be removed. But it seems to me that there was a de facto non-royal government apart from New York or New Hampshire for the duration of the American Revolution in Vermont ... I just do not have a such a source readily at hand. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:44, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Note for Atlanta[edit]

There is no note on Georgia, but you might note that it is the state capital with the largest metropolitan population. (talk) 04:20, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Trenton, New Jersey is in NYC's metro area. Hot Stop talk-contribs 04:32, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
That's the tail wagging the dog for Trenton. But agreed the proposed Atlanta note is extraneous. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:39, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Confederate flag icon[edit]

The Confederate States of America section shows the Neo-Confederate flag, the so called Third National Flag, “Blood-stained banner” Confederate States of America, which has no reliable source to assert that it was ever flown in the historic Confederacy.

David Sansing, professor emeritus of history at the University of Mississippi at “Mississippi History Now”, online Mississippi Historical Society observes in his Brief history of Confederate flags, that the “Bood stained banner” was “unlikely” to have flown over “any Confederate troops or civilian agencies”. He quoted the author of “Confederate Military History”, Confederate General Bradley T. Johnson, “I never saw this flag, nor have I seen a man who did see it.”

The historic Confederacy 1861-1865 which has disappeared, had a flag displayed everywhere in the Confederacy at the time. It was the “First National Flag” Confederate States of America, Ellis Merton Coulter in his The Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, on page 118 notes that the First National Flag was used “all over the Confederacy”, and that is what should be displayed here. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 19:08, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me. I'd say go ahead and change it but be prepared for an uproar.--Jim in Georgia Contribs Talk 23:31, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I rewrote the section over several revisions, adding links to American Civil War articles for the places, correcting errors, writing out the blue-out caused by multiple unnecessary linkages. No other section is so expanded to include a sort of history of the entity. But I tried to preserve the previous factual elements as best I could. The last two paragraphs still might be deleted altogether, were they to cause some sort of edit war. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:04, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
What about using the Stainless banner instead? Illegitimate Barrister 03:22, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, as enacted into law, it did not fly. The length was too long for the width to allow a breeze to catch it in the wind, so it was perpetually furled against flag pole. To all intents and purposes, it was a white flag of surrender, so although it was used as one of four banners over Fort Sumter in 1863 or 64 for a brief time while undergoing shelling from Union monitors, it was recalled after being challenged as a sign of surrender or truce, which of course it was not meant to be.
A modified dimensioned Stainless banner flag flew over the Capitol in Richmond. And I stumbled onto a regiment in the western theater using it until it got dirty in the field. Otherwise I cannot find another use of the Stainless banner. On the other hand, the First National Flag was used everywhere throughout the life of the historic Confederate States of America, over government buildings and in the field. The First National Banner flew over Atlanta at its capture, for instance. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 06:04, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Why aren't the biggest cities the capitals?[edit]

I can't find this anywhere in the article despite it being rather important as outside of the USA it seems very strange to choose a small city to be the capital. I know there are many countries where the largest city isn't the capital (Australia, NZ, China, India, Brazil, etc.) but in general the largest city is the capital and in most cases it was chosen to be capital because of that (i.e. it didn't later become the largest city by virtue of being the capital). So why do so many US states not have their largest city as the capital?--XANIA - ЗAНИAWikipedia talk | Wikibooks talk 13:31, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Actually, many state capitals were chosen to be the geographic center of the state, or along a river or railroad in the time of horse and buggy days so representatives from every part of the state could have about the same commute from the geographic extremes. In Virginia, the capital was moved from Williamsburg west to Richmond on the James River when it was about the geographic center of the state settlement, and Richmond became the largest city until 20th century interstates and urbanization. In Georgia the capital was moved from Milledgeville in the center of the state to Atlanta at a railroad center, and Atlanta became larger than the port city of Savannah, Georgia. WP articles on capitals note predecessor capitals, so you can backtrack the history of each state. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)