Skip to main content
Select Source:

Cumberland Road

CUMBERLAND ROAD

CUMBERLAND ROAD, also known as the National Road, was the first national road in the United States. It had tremendous influence of the development of the Ohio River Valley and the Northwest Territory. Congress passed enabling acts in 1802 and 1803 before Ohio's admission into the Union that set aside 5 percent of the net proceeds of the public lands sold by Congress within Ohio for building a national road to and through the state of Ohio. In March 1806, Congress authorized the accumulated funds for the marketing and construction of a road from Cumberland, Maryland, through Wheeling, Virginia, to Ohio.

The construction of the road began in 1811, and by 1818 the U.S. mail was running over the 130 miles to Wheeling, now in West Virginia. Immediately the popularity of the road was tremendous, and stagecoach, carriage, and livestock traffic proved that maintenance costs would be high. Congress soon voted money for repairs and, in March of 1825, appropriated funds for extending the road from Wheeling to Zanesville, Ohio, following the first road built in Ohio, Zane's Trace.

The road reached Columbus in 1833, but by this time, canals were eclipsing roads for federal interest and investment. The road reached its terminus in Vandalia, Illinois, through private aid, and control of the road was turned over to the states through which it passed.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ierley, Merritt. Traveling the National Road: Across the Centuries on America's First Highway. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1990.

Jordon, Phillip Dillon. The National Road. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1948.

Raitz, Karl B., ed. The National Road. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Francis PhelpsWeisenburger/h. s.

See alsoOhio ; Ohio River ; Ohio Valley ; Roads .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cumberland Road." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cumberland Road." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cumberland-road

"Cumberland Road." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved September 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cumberland-road

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Cumberland Road

Cumberland Road: see National Road.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cumberland Road." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cumberland Road." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cumberland-road

"Cumberland Road." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 26, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cumberland-road

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.