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city, seat (1866) of Etowah county, northeastern Alabama, U.S. It is situated on the Coosa River in the Appalachian foothills, 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Birmingham. The original farming settlement was known as Double Springs, and the town was founded there in 1846 as a steamboat station. It was renamed for James Gadsden, who later negotiated the Gadsden Purchase (1853) of territory from Mexico. Adjacent Alabama City was annexed by Gadsden in 1932