Charleston, located where the Elk and Kanawha rivers meet, is the capital of West Virginia and the seat of Kanawha County. The 2010 U.S. Census assigned Charleston a population of 51,400, living in an area of over 32 square miles.
Charleston hasn't always been West Virginia's capital. When the state was admitted to the union by presidential proclamation in 1863, the government met in Wheeling. The capital was transferred to Charleston after the Civil War; then it was transferred back to Wheeling until a popular vote in 1877 fixed Charleston as the final location for the state government's seat of operations.