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.

Images

Kentucky

Kentucky

The area of Kentucky was increased by approximately 5.7 percent when the Jackson Purchase was made. The Jackson Purchase region is the far western part of the state highlighted in yellow. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson was the primary agent negotiator with the Chickasaw Indian Tribe to purchase part of Kentucky and Tennessee in 1818. The region of Kentucky that was acquired in the purchase is known as the Jackson Purchase in his honor. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Governor Issac Shelby

Governor Issac Shelby

Shelby was a Revolutionary War general and two-time governor of Kentucky. Along with Andrew Jackson, Shelby was a part of negotiations with the Chickasaw Indians to purchase land surrounded by the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Shelby Pocketwatch

Shelby Pocketwatch

Shelby family tradition holds General Isaac Shelby wore this watch during the War of 1812, but lost it on the return from negotiations with the Chickasaw in Tennessee in 1818. It was recovered by Shelby's son, Thomas Hart Shelby. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

McKenzie Martin, “Jackson Purchase,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 23, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/367.
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