Jackson Purchase

Historical Marker #1006 in McCracken County commemorates the Jackson Purchase. This land, which was secured in 1818, includes Kentucky's eight westernmost counties, including McCracken County.

The purchase was primarily negotiated by two agents of the United States: General Andrew Jackson, who later became president, and Revolutionary War hero and former governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Although authorization for the purchase was given in 1816, the treaty with the Chickasaw Indian Nation, who inhabited the land, was not signed until October 19, 1818. The U.S. Senate confirmed the treaty, which was signed by President James Monroe on January 7, 1819.

The treaty stipulated that the United States would receive lands east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi state line. In exchange, the Chickasaws were to be paid $300,000 at a rate of $20,000 annually for 15 years. The newly acquired land expanded the size of the United States by more than 8,000 square miles, 2,369 of which are in Kentucky. This property constitutes 5.7 percent of the state's total area.

Today, the region of Kentucky west of the Tennessee River is known as the Jackson Purchase because of Jackson's critical role in its acquisition. Beginning as an extension of Christian County, the Jackson Purchase was divided and subdivided into the present eight counties of the region. By order of formation, these are Hickman, Calloway, Graves, McCracken, Marshall, Ballard, Fulton, and Carlisle.