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Overview Page

Explorers Page

Expeditions Page

Fry & Jefferson Mapping of the North Carolina - Virginia Border

Thomas Walker's Journey through the Cumberland Gap

Fry-Jefferson, Map of Virginia

Thomas Walker & Daniel Smith's Mapping of the NC-VA Border

Maury's Intellectual Explorations

Epilogue Page

Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia

Thirteen years after he first conceived of the idea, Joshua Fry was commissioned to draft a map of the entire state of Virginia. Even with help from, Peter Jefferson, this was no easy task for even the most expert surveyors. What was to make this project extraordinary was that Fry and Jefferson would base the map on actual measurements and surveys of the land. Usually, map-makers would rely on the word of woodsmen or American Indians when unfamiliar with the land themselves. The Fry-Jefferson Map was renowned for its accuracy. It was heavily consulted by British generals during the Seven Years War, and also by Thomas Jefferson in writing Notes on the State of Virginia. In 1749, it was unclear just how far west Fry and Jefferson should set the boundaries of Virginia. The map covers only "the inhabited" parts of the colony, out to the Allegheny Mountains. But Fry included with the map, "An account of the Bounds of the Colony of Virginia and its back settlements," where he argued the legitimacy of Virginia's land claims to the west of the mountains (Frye, 13), in areas that the Loyal Land Company would later claim and encourage settlement.

View the Fry-Jefferson Map


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