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(In New Orleans such a group is called a krewe.) Although debated by Alabama historians, they may have been descendants of the Native American tribe whose small fortress town, Mabila, was used to conceal several thousand native warriors before an attack in 1540 on the expedition of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.The European settlement of Mobile began with French colonists, who in 1702 constructed Fort Louis de la Louisiane, at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff on the Mobile River, as the first capital of the French colony of La Louisiane.Its French Catholic colonial settlers celebrated this festival from the first decade of the 18th century.Beginning in 1830, Mobile was host to the first formally organized Carnival mystic society to celebrate with a parade in the United States.Due to strong trade ties, many residents of Mobile and West Florida remained loyal to the British Crown.
This early period was also the occasion of the importation of the first African slaves, transported aboard a French supply ship from the French colony of Saint-Domingue in the Caribbean, where they had first been held.
making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Alabama's only saltwater port, Mobile is located on the Mobile River at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast.
The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city, beginning with the settlement as an important trading center between the French colonists and Native Americans, down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States.
River transportation was aided by the introduction of steamboats in the early decades of the 19th century.
Much land well suited to growing cotton lies in the vicinity of the Mobile River, and its main tributaries the Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers.
It was founded by French Canadian brothers Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, to establish control over France's claims to La Louisiane.