March 1, 1784 | Statute Virginia's delegates cede western counties to the nation. The wrangling between Virginia, Maryland, and other "landed" states and the Congress over the use and distribution of western territory was a long and contentious process. With this document, Virginia's delegates cede land northwest of the Ohio River to the nation.
May 20, 1785 | Statute Land Ordinance of 1785. Until the Homestead Act of 1862, this ordinance, with detailed instructions as to the sectioning of land into township and plats, was the guiding document in the division and dispersal of Western lands.
March 10, 1793 | Report Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, March 10, 1793 In his official capacity as Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson writes to George Washington, reiterating the boundaries of the western frontiers of the United States, particularly as they apply to treaties with Native groups.