Earliest Travelers: Explorers & Land Seekers:
Dr. Thomas Walker, physician and explorer for the Loyal Land Company, an Anglo-American land speculation company, set off in 1750 "to go to the Westward in order to discover a proper Place for Settlement." While looking for an 800,000-acre land grant, he passed through Cumberland Gap, which he described in his journal. Although he was the first person known to have written about the gap, which he named in honor of England's Duke of Cumberland, he and his companions knew they were not the first human beings there. Markings on the laurel trees seemed to indicate a trail.