Special Report

102 American Towns Founded Before the American Revolution

1. St. Augustine, Florida
> Founded: 1565
> Population: 15,415

The oldest city in America was founded 11 days after Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed in what is now Florida on the feast day of St. Augustine.

2. Jamestown, Virginia
> Founded: 1607
> Population: 15,196

This is where the first permanent English colony in North America was established. It was named after King James.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
> Founded: 1610
> Population: 84,683

Santa Fe was founded by Spanish conquistadors, including Don Pedro de Peralta. Santa Fe is the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi River.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

4. Hampton, Virginia
> Founded: 1610
> Population: 134,510

Hampton, founded by English settlers, is located at the mouth of the James River.

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5. Albany, New York
> Founded: 1614
> Population: 96,460

Dutch fur traders established Albany, the first European settlement in New York.

6. Plymouth, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1620
> Population: 7,399

After crossing the Atlantic to escape religious persecution in England, the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. The first Thanksgiving celebration took place here.

7. New York, New York
> Founded: 1624
> Population: 8,336,817

Settled by the Dutch in 1624, the English took over the town in 1664 and named it New York.

8. Salem, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1626
> Population: 43,226

Salem, famous for the witch trials in the late 17th century, was founded by English colonial settlers.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

9. Boston, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1630
> Population: 692,600

A group of 1,000 Puritan refugees led by John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley helped found what would become the biggest city in Massachusetts.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

10. Cambridge, Massachusetts
> Founded: 1630
> Population: 118,927

Cambridge was settled by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Originally called New Towne, the name Cambridge was adopted in 1638.