|The Great Salt Plains Just Northwest of Enid|
|Comanches Hunting Buffalo|
After the American Revolution (1776-1783), the English blockaded trade with United States and this led to salt shortages throughout America. White gold became more scarce. One of the top priorities for the first three American Presidents--George Washington, Johna Adams, and Thomas Jefferson--was to increase the salt supply within the United States. President George Washington petitioned Congress to offer a treasury bonus of 33 cents per bushel to salt producers. Washington's successor John Adam's worked hard to increase salt production as well, but Thomas Jefferson did something even more amazing.
President Thomas Jefferson's Mountain of Salt
|The Louisiana Purchase|
President Jefferson, realizing he had to win over public approval, as well as obtain the necessary votes to uphold the purchase in Congress, went before a combined legislative assembly in November 1803 and gave his rationale for buying Lousiana. Within this amazing speech Thomas Jefferson sought to increase the excitement over, and approval for, the Louisiana Purchase by raising the prospect that a massive amount of "white gold" would be found within the newly acquired territory. Jefferson said:
|President Thomas Jefferson|
Thomas Jefferson's Desire to Discover the Mountain of Salt Continues
|Major George C. Sibley|
Major George C. Sibley was a Christian man who loved logic and possessed a rational faith. He grew up in the home of his maternal grandfather, the famous Puritan Congregational minister Samuel Hopkins. Sibley's great uncle was theologian Jonathan Edwards. Major Sibley's Christian faith would have been comprised of consistent Calvinism, meaning Sibley believed that God had a purpose for his life, and that God would fulfill that purpose through providential goodness and supernatural guidance.
Sibley first led his party of interpreters and Osage Indians to a Kansa village on the Kansas River near present day Manhattan, Kansas. The group proceeded further north and met with some Pawnee Indians on the Platte River. Sibley's expedition then journeyed south at a rapid pace, finally stopping at some Osage Indian villages near the Arkansas River in what is now northern Oklahoma. From here, Sibley led his party to take a brief excursion to the west.