December 21, 1789
Georgia Governor Edward Telfair signed the Yazoo Land Act, selling, in part, 3.5 million acres in present-day north Alabama for $55,000 to Zachariah Cox’s Yazoo Tennessee Company. Cox attempted to settle Muscle Shoals and established a fort and trading house in 1791, but opposition for violating the federal Indian land policy and Georgia’s insistence on being paid in gold and silver soon thwarted his plans. Undeterred, Cox again purchased 3 million acres from Georgia in 1795 for $60,000, but the sale was quickly voided. While his land companies were short-lived, however, the boundaries of his tracts established a precedent and determined the east and west limits of the north boundary of Alabama that are still used today.