February 27, 1752 | Statute An Act for encouraging persons to settle on the waters of the Mississippi. Justified as a "means of cultivating a good correspondence with the neighbouring Indians," the provisions of this act encouraged "natural born subjects" and "foreign protestants" to settle along the waters of the Mississippi. Settlements possessed security value since they served as a means of projecting the colony's strength along the frontier. The act exempted settlers on the western slope of the Appalachian Mountains from payment of all public levies for ten years.
November 7, 1766 | Statute An act for opening a road through the frontiers of this colony to Fort Pitt on the Ohio. For improving commerce with the Indians of the Ohio valley and to facilitate supplying British garrisons along the frontier, the General Assembly authorized Thomas Walker and other gentlemen to "lay out" and "direct" the clearing of a road from the north branch of the Potomac River to Fort Pitt. The act mandated that the road run near Braddock Road.
December 4, 1783 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to George Rogers Clark, December 4, 1783 Thomas Jefferson expresses concern over supposed British plans to explore North America from the Mississippi River to California and asks Clark if he would be willing to undertake such an exploration on behalf of the United States. Jefferson also addresses the ongoing Congressional debate over the location of the new capitol, believing a site on the Potomac River would be amenable to western states as they form.
March 29, 1784 | Letter George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, March 29, 1784 George Washington writes of the importance of water routes into the western territories of the United States. Washington also refers to the Maryland/Virginia conflict over commerce on the Potomac River and the resolution of the matter.
May 21, 1784 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, May 21, 1784 Thomas Jefferson worries about the evolving western borders and territory of the United States.
September 26, 1785 | Letter George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, September 26, 1785 While anticipating the arrival of Houdon, who is to begin the sculpture commissioned by the State of Virginia, George Washington informs Thomas Jefferson that subscriptions for inland expeditions up the Potomac and James Rivers have all been sold to American investors. Washington also informs Jefferson of the Virginia Assembly's developing plans for the western part of the state, particularly in relation to North Carolina and Kentucky.
May 10, 1789 | Letter Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, May 10, 1789 Thomas Jefferson expresses his hopes for the future exploration and navigation of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers, adding a discussion about other avenues of water navigation that could promote western expansion and commerce. Jefferson also informs Washington he hopes to return to the United States, having appealed to John Jay for permission to do so. The letter also includes references to the role of the Marquis de la Fayette in French politics.
January 18, 1803 | Report Thomas Jefferson to United States Congress, January 18, 1803 Thomas Jefferson's confidential report to Congress planned westward expansion and the United States' relationship with Native Americans.