Augusta is the state capital of the U. S. state of Maine and the county seat of Kennebec County. The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-least populous state capital in the United States after Montpelier, Vermont, and Pierre, South Dakota, and the ninth-most populous city in Maine. Located on the Kennebec River at the head of tide, Augusta is home to the University of Maine at Augusta.
Augusta is also the principal city in the Augusta-Waterville Micropolitan Statistical Area. The area was first explored by the ill-fated Popham Colony in September 1607. It was first inhabited by English settlers from the Plymouth Colony in 1628 as a trading post on the Kennebec River. The settlement was known by its Indian name—Cushnoc (or Coussinoc or Koussinoc), meaning "head of the tide. "Fur trading was at first profitable, but with Indian uprisings and declining revenues, the Plymouth Colony sold the Kennebec Patent in 1661. Cushnoc would remain unoccupied for the next 75 years. This area was inhabited by the Kennebec Indians, a band of the larger Abenaki tribe. During the 17th century, they were on friendly terms with the English settlers in the region. A hotbed of Abenaki hostility toward British settlements was located further up the Kennebec at Norridgewock. In 1722, the tribe and its allies attacked Fort Richmond (now Richmond) and destroyed Brunswick.