In Bound for Canaan, his book on the underground railroad, Fergus Bordewich describes a plan worked on by Thomas Jefferson in 1784, while Jefferson was a member of the Continental Congress. The arrangement would have restricted the extent of slavery in the growing nation:
[N]ewly opened lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi … were destined to fill with settlers. [Jefferson’s plan] would have prohibited slavery in all the western territories … south as well as north. Had [the] plan been adopted slavery would never have been extended to the present states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, or presumably to those west of the Mississippi. Congress failed to approve the plan by a single vote.
That’s one of those points in history you can point to and say, but for one vote things would have been different.
Besides the dispensation concerning slavery, Thomas Jefferson’s report on the Western Territory also included suggested borders for new states and names for those states. Some of the names are little different from what came to be. Some are rather different. Here they are:
source: Bound for Canaan: the underground railroad and the war for the soul of America by Fergus M. Bordewich