Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the state capital and the seat of East Baton Rouge Parish. It lies on the Mississippi River, about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of New Orleans. Baton Rouge is a deepwater river and ocean port and a railway center.
The city is a processing and trade center for a large agricultural area. Bauxite (aluminum ore) from South America is the main import. The city has cottonseed, lumber, and sugar mills; shipyards; oil refineries; and aluminum, rubber, chemical, and concrete plants. Exports include aluminum, rice, cotton, lumber, and oil.
Louisiana State University, state schools for the deaf and blind, the state library, and Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College are here.
Baton Rouge was established as a French fort in 1719, and was named for the red post (baton rouge) Indians had used as a boundary marker. It was ceded to the British in 1763, and taken by the Spanish in 1779. In 1810, American settlers revolted and drove the Spanish out. Baton Rouge was incorporated in 1817 and became the state capital in 1849. The city was captured by Union forces in 1862 during the Civil War. The state government was moved and Baton Rouge did not become the state capital again until 1882.