Feb 14, 2022
Simply put, the National Road opened up settlement for the state, then considered part of the "West". Construction of the first part of the National Road in Cumberland, Md., which is on the Potomac River, began in 1811. That was five years before Indiana became a state. In addition to George Washington, key figures in the push for the National Road included presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, along with Albert Gallatin, who was secretary of the treasury in both of their administrations. Gallatin corresponded with John Badollet, secretary of the Indiana Territory; their letters document the push for the National Road and the challenges involved.
The Indiana National Road Association celebrates the heritage of the road, both during the 19th century and its U.S. 40 era.