Finely executed map of the route from New York City to Lake Ontario, published for Christian Schultz's Travels on an Inland Voyage Through the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and through the territories of Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New-Orleans; performed in the years 1807 and 1808.
Engraved by Peter Maverick, this is one of the earliest maps of the Mohawk River, published in America.
The map tracks the water course from New York City and the Hudson River to Lake Ontario, via the Hudson River and Mohawk River, the one to the Ohio River, via Fort Erie and the Allegheny river.
Schultz's work is one of the earliest works to give a detailed account of travel and the actual risks and dangers encountered in the western country. Schultz crossed upstate New York and western Pennsylvania, then went down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, traveling inland along the way.
In 1780 during the Revolutionary War, Brigadier General George Rogers Clark established Fort Jefferson on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River, at the confluence of the Ohio River. The fort was intended to protect what was then the western boundary of the infant United States, from raids by the British Army and Native Americans. It was abandoned in 1781 after a siege by the Chickasaw.
After Clark's victories at Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes, America controlled the Illinois Country. Soon after these victories, Clark's reputation grew and he became famous. He returned to his base fort on Corn Island, at the Falls of the Ohio, near present-day Louisville, Kentucky. There he received orders from Jefferson to begin making plans to build a new fort at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Clark chose a spot five miles below the mouth of the Ohio River on Chickasaw Indian land, near present-day Wickliffe, Kentucky, for the new Fort Jefferson. The site was 200 feet above the river in Kentucky Territory and offered a commanding view of both rivers. Clark's plan was to keep at least 200 soldiers at Fort Jefferson and another 100 settlers would receive a grant of 400 acres of land around the fort in exchange for growing the food necessary to sustain it. It would be the base where American Regulars would begin their missions against the British Western Army.