Fry, Jefferson, and the NC-VA Border 1749
Creating the map- Having established their reputations as
expert surveyors in Albemarle County, Joshua Fry
and Peter Jefferson were commissioned to
extend the border line between Virginia and North Carolina in 1749. William Byrd drew Fry
and Jefferson worked with the two surveyors from appointed from North Carolina, Daniel
Weldon and William Churton (Frye, 8). Together, they added to a 1728 map drafted by
William Byrd and William Mayo, surveying border from the Atlantic Ocean to Peter's Creek
in Patrick County Virginia, a little further west from where Rt. 8 crosses the border
today. Invaluble to the expedition were Jefferson's copies of Mayo's map from the original
survey (Hickish, 137). The four surveyors extended the boundary from Peter's Creek 90
miles due west to Steep Rock Creek, just southeast of present day Damascus, Virginia.
During their travels, Fry and Jefferson also took the opportunity to explore the
countryside, and survey lands they held through the Loyal Land Company.
Legacy of the map- Dr. Thomas Walker, surveyor and friend of Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, would later extend this border even further west. This map helped document the land claims both colonies made on the territory hundreds of miles west of the first English settlements (Frye, 8). While most colonists lived within 50 miles of the coast, increasing numbers of settlers were making their way west. Land claims between settlers and between colonies were frequently unclear and could easily be disputed (Frye, 8). With this map, at least the squabbles between the colonies could be swiftly resolved.