By 1830, America was solidifying its claim to the western reaches of North America and it was apparent that carriages and wagons were not the only mode of transportation that could be used. On the East coast, the Baltimore & Ohio railroad was working to connect the city of Baltimore with the Ohio River in the west. Lexington, too, needed access to trade and with the charter of the Lexington & Ohio Railroad, it was attempt to attain that.
On January 27, 1830, the Lexington & Ohio Railroad was chartered. This would allow trade goods to bypass the competitive town of Louisville and give Lexington direct access to the New Orleans market. The L & O charter named over twenty of Lexington’s most influential citizens as its proponents with Elisha Winters and General Leslie Combs as the lead organizers.
Learn more about what happened after the charter by reading our August 15 blog post.
Want to know more about railroad history in the Bluegrass? Visit our Bluegrass Railway exhibit at the Lexington History Museum.