March 7, 1750–July 13, 1750 | Journal Thomas Walker's Journal (1750) In March 1750 (1749 under the Julian Calendar), Thomas Walker and several companions set off through western Virginia into modern-day Kentucky. His journal documents some of the earliest Euro-American impressions of the Cumberland region.
June 13, 1752 | Treaty The Treaty of Logstown Joshua Fry, Lunsford Lomax, and James Patton journeyed to Logstown on the Ohio River to treat with the Indians of the Six Nations. After a delay of nearly a week in which the commissioners waited for the arrival of a leading Sachem of the Six Nations, Thonariss -- called Half King by the English -- the assembly began its discussions. The wide-ranging dialogue covered the topics outlined in their instructions from Lt. Governor Dinwiddie. In the end, the Sachems of the Six Nations recognized the British land claims established by the 1744 Treaty of Lancaster. The exchanges included in this excerpt of the treaty negotiations provide insight into the complex relationship between British, Indian, and French interests in the Ohio Valley.
January 1, 1755 | Treaty Instructions for Peter Randolph and William Byrd to treat with the Catawbas and Cherokees on behalf of the colony of Virginia. In the early stages of the war with France in North American Lt. Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent William Byrd and Peter Randolph to treat with the Cherokee and Catawba Indians to pursue an alliance with them against the French. Dinwiddie instructed the two representatives to expound the "Grandeur and Munificence" of George II and vilify France's "restless . . . thirst of Dominion" in America. He also directed his emissaries to warn the Cherokee and Catawbas against being deceived by French efforts to turn them against the English. Dinwiddie expressed a particular interest in determining if other Indian tribes might be brought into alliance with the English.
October 5, 1765 | Statute An act for establishing a trade with the Indian allies of his majesty, and to amend another act directing the trustees of the Indian Factory of Virginia. In an effort to regulate and control trade with Cherokee allies, conditions for trade are laid out in detail. The trustees of the Indian Factory are instructed to limit the types of goods sold and the manner in which they deal with established allies and new consumers.
October 14, 1768 | Treaty Treaty of Hard Labor Created subsequent to the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, clarifying the newly agreed to boundary line required additional treating with the Cherokee in the south. The meeting took place at Hard Labor, South Carolina where the participants recognized the cession of certain lands of the Cherokee to the colonies of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. According to the terms, the king's "white subjects" would be bound by the agreement not to move into the lands designated as belonging to the Cherokee, and the Cherokee were similarly constrained from settling on land acknowledged as belonging to the English colonies. This document described in detail the boundary and also recognized arrangements constructed in earlier agreements, specifically the Treaty of Augusta [Georgia] of 1763. Encroachments by settlers and retaliatory acts of violence conducted by Indians inflamed the frontier and necessitated further boundary negotiations.
December 16, 1768 | Treaty Objections to the Treaty of Hard Labor Commissioners from Virginia object to the boundary line established with the Treaty of Hard Labor and vow to pursue the matter.
November 10, 1769 | Statute An act for the better support of the contingent charges of government. Section 1 of this law committed 2,000 pounds sterling for surveying the boundary between Virginia and Cherokee territory.
October 18, 1770 | Treaty Treaty of Lochaber Continued consternation over the exact location of boundary between the Cherokee nation and Virginia led to this 1770 settlement of the line. At issue was a contested swath of land that had been ceded to the Indians at Hard Labor. The new agreement adjusted the border to give lands east of a line running from the Holston River to the convergence of the Great Canaway (Great Kanawha) and Ohio Rivers to the British province of Virginia.
July 20, 1777 | Treaty Avery's Treaty/Treaty of Holston This treaty between North Carolina and the Cherokee is referred to frequently in Daniel Smith's Journal as the Virginia and Carolina Commissioners work with the Cherokee to establish boundary lines.
May 3, 1779 | Statute An act for establishing a Land office, and ascertaining the terms and manner of granting waste and unappropriated lands. Concerned about the disposal of "waste and unappropriated lands," the General Assembly created a land office to deal with the sale and distribution of these lands. The lands would be used to encourage immigration, increasing public revenue, and paying off the commonwealth's debt. The office's administrative role would be essential to managing records of land patents, grants, veterans' land warrants, and purchases of waste and unappropriated lands sold at forty pounds per hundred acres. Managing Virginias lands, and later the public lands of the United States, was a central concern throughout the dcades of the early republic.
August 14, 1779–August 7, 1780 | Journal Daniel Smith's Journal (1779-1780) In 1779, with other surveyors and adventurers from Virginia and North Carolina, Daniel Smith and Thomas Walker set out to extend the Virginia-North Carolina boundary line far beyond the Cumberland Gap. From August 1779 until August 1780, the men traveled from southern Virginia, to the Falls of the Ohio River, and back to Virginia. In addition to their survey duties, the men worked secretly for Thomas Jefferson, meeting with George Rogers Clark at the Falls of the Ohio River to scout locations for the planned Fort Jefferson.
January 24, 1780 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Martin, January 24, 1780 Thomas Jefferson instructs Joseph Martin, agent to the Cherokee, to purchase or trade for land for Fort Jefferson, currently being plotted by George Rogers Clark.
January 29, 1780 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to George Rogers Clark, January 29, 1780 Thomas Jefferson issues instructions for the construction of a fort on the Falls of the Ohio, offering the services of surveyors Thomas Walker and Daniel Smith, who are in the field plotting a line between North Carolina and Virginia. Addressing the need to defend the western frontier from British advances, Jefferson authorizes Clark's recruitment of a battalion of soldiers, with land warrants issued as payment. Jefferson also expresses concern over the establishment of peaceful relations with French settlers and Native groups already in the region.
November 28, 1785 | Treaty Treaty of Hopewell This treaty further codified the relationship between the Cherokees and the American government
August 26, 1790 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to Henry Knox, August 26, 1790 Thomas Jefferson discusses the Treaty of Hopewell and its ramifications for national expansion, particularly in regard to treaties made between states and native groups.
February 16, 1793 | Report Thomas Jefferson to the United States House of Representatives, February 16, 1793 In the report, Thomas Jefferson's understanding of American land policy in the west, particularly Indian treaties and possession and white claims, is clearly laid out as he reports on the land claim of a Revolutionary War veteran
June 30, 1793 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael and William Short, June 30, 1793 Thomas Jefferson writes to William Carmichael and William Short, the United States' commissioners in Spain, addressing ongoing tensions with Spain. Spanish authorities viewed American settlements in the West with great suspicion and accused the United States of encouraging Native groups to violence. Jefferson addresses both the accusations and the United States' policies towards the Chickasaw and Creek Nations.