The first documented French visit to Kansas City area was Étienne de Veniard, Sieur deBourgmont who was also the first European to explore the lower Missouri River. He was on the lam from French authorities after deserting his post as commander of Fort Detroit after being criticized for his handling of a Native American attack of the Fort. Bourgmont lived with a Native American wife in the Missouri (tribe) village about 90 miles (145 km) east near Brunswick, Missouri and illegally traded furs.
Missouri officially incorporated the city March 28, 1853; it changed the name to the City of Kansas. At the first municipal election in 1853 there were 67 voters from an estimated population of 2,500. The initial incorporated area was about 10 blocks west to east and five blocks north to south. It was bordered by Bluff Road (about I-35 today) on the west, Independence Avenue on the south and Holmes Street on the east and the Missouri River on the north. William S. Gregory became the first mayor but had to resign within 10 months when it was discovered that the mayor actually had to live in the city.
Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. It encompasses 318 square miles (820 km2) in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. The city also serves as the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, second largest in Missouri, and largest with territory in Kansas (Wichita is the largest metropolitan area anchored in Kansas). As of February 6, 2009, it was revealed that the US census had underestimated Kansas City's population, and re-released it to be 475,830, with a metro area of over two million. Kansas City was founded in 1838 as the "Town of Kansas” at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and was incorporated in its present form in 1850. Situated opposite Kansas City, Kansas, the city was the location of several battles during the Civil War, including the Battle of Westport. The city is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues as well as to cuisine (Kansas City-style barbecue).