The New Student's Reference Work/Cumberland Road
Cumberland Road, an early highway, constructed by the national government to connect Cumberland, Md., on the Potomac, with the Ohio River, an undertaking of much importance in opening up the west and southwest to the east before the era of railways. The project was begun about 1806, and was completed as far as Illinois about 1838, at a total cost to the federal government of close upon $7,000,000. Under the name of the Great National Pike the road was held under national control; but in 1856 it was turned over to the several states through which it passed. In his day Henry Clay was influential in obtaining the necessary sums from the nation to construct the road.