Atlanta is the capital of and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia, with an estimated 2013 population of 447,841.
Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek and Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build theWestern and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest. The initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would then be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points. A year later, the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus", and later as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and ageneral store in the area. By 1842, the town had six buildings and 30 residents, and was renamed "Marthasville" to honor theGovernor's daughter. J. Edgar Thomson, Chief Engineer of theGeorgia Railroad, suggested the town be renamed "Atlantica-Pacifica," which was shortened to "Atlanta". The residents approved, and the town was incorporated as Atlanta on December 29, 1847.