In a step toward settling Kentucky’s boundary dispute with Tennessee, the Kentucky General Assembly gave final approval on November 22, 1821, to a line marked by William Steele, surveyor for Kentucky, and Absalom Looney, surveyor for Tennessee. The entire dispute between the two states was not completely settled until 1859 with a boundary that cost Kentucky a considerable amount of territory.
Surveyor’s theodolite used by Robert Alexander to survey the southern border of the Jackson Purchase. At the behest of the legislature, Alexander was appointed by Gov. Gabriel Slaughter in 1819 to survey the Kentucky-Tennessee border in the former Chickasaw land between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. Donated by Alex Alexander. KHS Collections.