Dothan is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the county seat of Houston County and Alabama's seventh-largest city, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is near the state's southeastern corner, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Georgia and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. It is named after the biblical city where Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population of the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, much of it processed in the city, Dothan is known as "The Peanut Capital of the World". It also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.
Between 1763 and 1783, the region that is now Dothan was part of the colony of British West Florida.
The first permanent white settlers consisted of nine families who moved into the area during the early 1830s to harvest the abundant timber. Their settlement, named Poplar Head after the spring, failed to thrive. It was all but abandoned by the time of the Civil War.