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New Madrid is a city in New Madrid County, Missouri, United States. Located on the Kentucky Bend of the Mississippi River, it is 42 miles (68 km) southwest of Cairo, Illinois, and north of an exclave of Fulton County, Kentucky, across the river.Settlement historyNew Madrid was founded in about 1778 by Spanish Governor Bernardo de Gálvez, who controlled Spanish Louisiana (the land west of the Mississippi River). He welcomed settlers from the United States, but required them to become citizens of Spain. In addition, they had to agree to live under the guidance of his appointed empresario, Colonel William Morgan, a Revolutionary War veteran from New Jersey. Morgan recruited a number of American families to settle at New Madrid, attracting some 2,000 people to the region. In 1800, Spain traded the territory to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. France promptly sold it to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.The town is on the north side of the Kentucky Bend in the Mississippi River, which is also known as "New Madrid Bend" or "Madrid Bend." The river curves in an oxbow around an exclave of Fulton County, Kentucky. Scientists expect the river eventually to cut across the neck of the peninsula and make a more direct channel.Take a peek at our custom trip planner: New Madrid and its charms laid bare and easily scheduled.
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