“Virginia’s Proclamation Line: Mapping the Frontier in the Era of the American Revolution”
Presented by: Dr. Max Edelson, University of Virginia
On October 7, 1763, King George III’s Royal Proclamation imagined a line passing through the Appalachian Mountains. By carefully dividing colonial and indigenous territories, British officials hoped to turn a fractious frontier into an empire of peace. When it came time to survey this continental boundary, however, Virginia’s determination to claim land to the banks of the Ohio River threatened this imperial vision. Before the line could be settled, the American War of Independence wiped it off the map. This talk tells the story of the Proclamation Line in the Old Dominion, illustrated by more than a dozen original maps. It shows how Virginians pursued an agenda of expansion and how Cherokee and Iroquois leaders attempted to carve out a stable place for Native nations in North America in the generation before the American Revolution.