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Louisville, Kentucky, original charter, 1780

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Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Louisville, Kentucky, original charter




University of Louisville Special CollectionsLouisville, Kentucky 40292 USA

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to researchers

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Louisville, Kentucky, original charter, 1780, Special Collections, University of Louisville, Louisville.


1 item

Scope and Content

Signed by Thomas Jefferson as governor of Virginia in May 1780, the charter notes "Whereas Sundry Inhabitants of the County of Kentucky [Kentucky was then a county of Virginia] have at great expense & hazard, settled themselves upon lands at the falls of Ohio" then places one thousand acres in the hands of trustees to "divide into Lots of an half acre each, with convenient streets & public lots, which shall be of the same is hereby established a town by the Name of Louisville." The charter further specifies that lots be sold at a public auction and that purchasers build "a dwelling house, 16 feet by 20 at least with a brick or stone chimney to be finished within 2 years from the day of sale." The charter, lost for years, came to light in New York in the 1950s. Publisher and civic leader Barry Bingham Sr. purchased it and gave the document to the city. Since 1957 it has been on permanent loan to the University of Louisville.


  • History

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The copyright interests have not been transferred to the University of Louisville. For further information, see the section on copyright in the regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Library or consult a reference archivist.

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