The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Established in 1749, the Loyal Company was established by the government of Virginia to obtain a large grant in the Trans-Allegheny region of the Appalachian Mountains. On July 12, 1749, Virginia authorized the company to enter and survey 800,000 acres on "western waters". A provision of authorization required the settlement of the land within four years, and the company being permitted to make surveys and returns during that period. The southern boundary of this land was along the present-day border of Virginia and North Carolina. Original incorporators included Joshua Fry, James Maury, Dr. Thomas Walker, Peter Jefferson (father of Thomas Jefferson), and Thomas Meriwether (grandfather of Meriwether Lewis). In 1750, Walker (1714-1794), of Albemarle County, launched a survery expedition as a representative of the Loyal Company during which he explored the the valleys of the New and Greenbrier rivers. His was the first recorded exploration by white explorers in the area of West Virginia south of the Kanawha River.