David Sapp, founder of the Boone's Lick Road Association presents the latest research on the Boone’s Lick Road, an often-overlooked part of Missouri's contribution to U.S. expansion.
The United States has looked West towards the Pacific Ocean since the Revolutionary War. After all, many thought, why stop at the Alleghenies, or even the great Mississippi? At the time of the first U.S. census in 1790, there were just 3.9 million Americans in the country, but that population had more than tripled to 12.9 million by 1830. Tides of early 19th century immigration drove the search for good land, and that land laid to the West.
In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the size of the country, extending the western border beyond the Mississippi River and opening approximately 828,000 square miles to U.S. settlement. The following year, Nathan Boone—son of famous pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone—and Matthias Van Bibber discovered a salt lick 150 miles into the new American wilderness, in modern day Howard County, Missouri, bestowing it with the Boone family name. Their chance find led to the blazing of a new road that served as a key link to the trans-Mississippi west.
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