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The western edge of authorized settlement was moved through negotiations with the Cherokee (1768 Treaty of Hard Labor, followed by the 1770 Treaty of Lochaber in 1770) and the Iroquois (1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix).
Those treaties opened most of the desirable land in the Ohio River watershed for colonial settlement, though Shawnee and other nations disputed the authority of the Cherokee and Iroquois to permit colonial settlement there.
In 1866 the US Congress declared that Berkeley and Jefferson counties were part of West Virginia, and in 1870 the US Supreme Court ruled that action was valid.
Virginia has been reduced in size in various ways since 1612.
England's tacit acceptance of Virginia's western land claims ended with the 1774 Quebec Act.
It transferred responsibility for granting ownership for most lands west of the Appalachian Mountains from the restless colonies such as Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York to the more-loyal province of Quebec.
The Virginia General Assembly then created Illinois County, encompassing all the lands west of the Ohio River.
Military conquest of the northwest, extending to the Mississippi River, added a key element to Virginia's claim over the land. George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia and Vincennes during the American Revolution, cementing Virginia's claims to the territory northwest of the Ohio River Source: National Park Service, Fort Jefferson, 1780-1781: A Summary Of Its History Virginia's control over the territory between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes generated conflicts between states with competing land claims, and with states that had no such claims.
Virginia's Illinois County was created in 1778, based on the conquest by George Rogers Clark and citing claims dating back to the 1609 charter, but that land was ceded to the new United States in 1783 and become the Northwest Territory when the US Congress accepted the land cession in 1784 Map Source: ESRI, Arc GIS Online When English kings created other colonies such as Maryland and Carolina, they changed the northern and southern boundaries of Virginia.