City (pop., 2000: 198,682), capital of Iowa, U.S. Located at the juncture of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers, Fort Des Moines was established in 1843 to protect the rights of the Sauk and Fox Indians. The area was opened to white settlers in 1845. East Des Moines developed and by 1856 had amalgamated with Fort Des Moines to form the present city, which became the capital in 1857. The state's largest city, it is a communications hub and a major manufacturing, governmental, and publishing centre (especially for farm journals). It is the site of Drake University (1881).