I’m interested in history, ecology, and agriculture. These are subjects I’ve never stopped searching for information about.

I’d like to introduce my wife, Becky, who is right here. Becky is retired but still works part-time at home for her old office, and they pay her for it. Additionally, we just welcomed our second grandchild last Friday via c-section.

I’m going to try to do this quickly just for fun. This is a map I came across at the Missouri Historical Society, created by the department in the 1940s. It shows all the trails and their names. It’s a fascinating map, one I had never seen before.

Everyone’s familiar with the story of Dragging Canoe and how Kentucky was intended to be a fertile land. He led his warriors back to the Chickamauga Creek area, continuing the war from 1775 through 1794. After the last battles at Muscle Shoals, they settled a large Cherokee land.

Dragging Canoe declared they would give away their land and move to the Trans-Mississippi West. This map I’m referring to is from 1826, created by Anthony Finley. It’s a valuable resource for understanding the history of Missouri, territorial moments, and Native American history.

This map includes various military roads from 1826. Here’s a military road to Memphis, often referred to when discussing the trans-Mississippi west. The bluffs have been mentioned multiple times. Each bluff is referred to as the first, second, third, and fourth bluff. People call them different names; you might have heard them called the Chickasaw Bluffs.

Moving to an important proclamation by General Wilkinson, issued on July 18, 1806, it delineates the Arkansas district boundaries, starting from the first bluffs at 36 degrees north latitude and extending west. This is a pivotal point in Arkansas history, marking early boundary lines.

Here’s a reference to a wonderful series of books called “Travels” by William Cummings. These provide descriptions of the Chickasaw Bluffs, including historical details.

This was all part of the transition from French to Spanish, then to United States control of the Louisiana Territory. A historical line, established as the boundary between New Spain and the United States, started at the mouth of the Sabine River, running north and then west to the Arkansas River.

Here’s Wilkinson again, tasked with mapping the Arkansas River and obtaining details about the soil, climate, and tributary streams. Wilkinson split his team to map different parts, emphasizing the importance of accurate mapping for future planning and settlement.

Here’s another interesting point: the road running into Old Mexico, now New Spain, was of concern to the Spanish authorities due to potential military action. A significant obstacle was the Great Raft, a large mass of debris blocking the Red River, making navigation difficult.

Anthony Finley’s 1826 map is noteworthy for its accuracy and detail, especially concerning military and territorial movements. This map includes various historical lines and roads, vital for understanding early 19th-century territorial changes.

Here’s a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Cherokee Nation in 1809, encouraging them to move westward to lands along the Arkansas and White Rivers, away from incoming settlers.

Moving to another crucial map from 1826 by Anthony Finley, showing the military road from Point Remove to the White River, an essential route for the Cherokee and other Native Americans moving west.

Skipping ahead, General Clarke was a significant figure in this era, leading expeditions and establishing treaties with various tribes. His efforts helped shape early territorial boundaries and relations with Native American tribes.

In 1817, there was a treaty with the Cherokee, moving them to land between the White River and the Arkansas River. This movement was part of a larger strategy to clear lands for white settlers while relocating Native American tribes westward.

Thomas Nuttall’s travels and descriptions of the Great Swamp and the St. Francis River provide valuable insights into the region’s geography and Native American settlements.

The 1820 Doak’s Stand Treaty with the Choctaw established significant land exchanges and boundaries, reflecting early 19th-century policies and attitudes toward Native American lands.

John Mellish’s 1816 map, the first to show the continental United States, reflected the era’s optimistic view of endless land and resources, even though much of the western territory was still unknown.

In 1823, a U.S. Senate committee justified removing Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi, claiming these lands would “forever remain on the outside.” This statement underscores the prevailing attitude of the time toward Native American displacement.

As we trace the removal routes, we see the challenges faced by those crossing the Ozark Mountains and navigating various rivers and swamps. Maps from the 1830s and 1840s show evolving routes and increasing settlement patterns.

In conclusion, these historical maps and documents provide a rich tapestry of early American history, territorial expansion, and the complex relationships between settlers and Native American tribes. Thank you for listening.

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