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The Marshall Expedition of 1812

In 1812, a group led by John Marshall crossed the Allegheny Mountains and traveled by wooden boat down the Greenbrier and New rivers in Western Virginia. Their 227-mile, six-week journey two centuries ago helped lay the groundwork for the canals, railroads, and roads that would open up the west. Their route began in the east at Lynchburg (the right end of this map) and progressed west to present Gauley Bridge (at the left end of this map).


Click on the blue oars to view information about the expedition. Click on a red star or green triangle to see the locations of modern towns and structures.


Scroll right to begin your journey at Lynchburg.


Batteau Alexander's observations James River Dunlap's Creek Howard's Creek Greenbrier River Low water Graham House New River Shallow New River Sandstone Falls Alexander's Camp Batteau in rapids Marshall's Pillars Smooth Kanawha River Lynchburg Clifton Forge Covington West Virginia state line White Sulphur Springs Caldwell Alderson Hinton Bluestone Dam New River Gorge Bridge Gauley Bridge


Andrew Alexander’s map was engraved by James Thackara and Son of Philadelphia. Our copy is from the Library of Virginia. The original map measures 19 inches by 66 inches at a scale of 1:118,800. You can view the map online at the Library of Virginia using a tool that allows you to zoom in on portions of the map.

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