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Mobile (mō-bēl′), the only seaport of Alabama, is situated on the west side of Mobile River, at the head of Mobile Bay. It is built on a sandy plain rising gradually from the river, with broad streets shaded with live oaks and magnolias. It has a large cotton and timber trade, and manufactures cottonseed oil, chewing gum, cigars and leather. Its public buildings include a city hall, market house, cathedral and a Catholic college in the neighborhood. Mobile has successively been a French, English, Spanish and American city. It was the capital of Louisiana under the French until 1723, when New Orleans became the seat of government. In 1763 the lands east of the Mississippi, including Mobile, were ceded to England, and in 1783 the British possessions on the Gulf of Mexico were yielded to Spain, which kept possession until 1813. The city has a large manufacturing and export trade in cottongoods, flour, lumber and farm products. Population 51,521.