Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark


Place Name

Spanish settlements

An act for establishing the county of Illinois, and for the more effectual protection and defense thereof. This act recognized the successful effort by George Rogers Clark and his expedition to secure the western side of the Ohio for Virginia. The commonwealth incorporated the existing inhabitants into the commonwealth through oaths of fidelity and then extended institutions of governance by establishing the county of Illinois. The act provided for election of civil officials and the raising of a five hundred man force for the defense of the county.

William Dunbar to the American Philosophical Society, via Thomas Jefferson, read December 18, 1801. This report, with several other missives and reports written by Dunbar, were forwarded by Jefferson to the American Philosphical Society, where they were read before the Society and later published in theTransactions of the Philosophical Society of Americain 1804. Dunbar's detailed descriptions of the weather and growing conditions in Lousiana were sure to interest Jefferson.