History of the County
Albert Gallatin, who was President Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury, was credited by Andrew Stewart as the first to propose the most practical plan for the Cumberland Road, as the National Road was first named. Albert Gallatin had come to Fayette County in 1784 and established a variety of industries in New Geneva near his estate of Friendship Hill, a National Park Service site.
In addition to serving as Secretary of the Treasury for both Presidents Jefferson and Madison, Gallatin was a diplomat and a moderating force during the Whiskey Rebellion, the first domestic challenge to the authority of the federal government to impose and collect taxes. Gallatin was part of the group who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812. In addition to conceiving the most practical path for the National Road, Gallatin devised a way to pay for the project . As land in the Ohio Territory was sold, a portion of that revenue would be dedicated to the construction of the road which would provide a direct link to the east coast.