UCSD Thomas Jefferson Secret Message to Congress Paper

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Read this week’s Thomas Jefferson  document, his Secret Message to Congress on Indian Policy (1803), and write one or two paragraphs explaining his main priorities for dealing with Native Americans, and how his plans for Indians reflected his broader ideas about American development. That is, how do Jefferson’s ideas about dealing with Native Americans, as expressed in his Secret Message to Congress, reflect the Republican principles discussed in last week’s video and document?

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Thomas Jefferson, Address to the Wolf and People of the
Mandan Nation, December 30, 1806
MANDAN NATION: -I take you by the hand of friendship hearty welcome to the seat of
the government of the United States. The journey which you have
taken to visit your fathers on this side of our island is a long one,
and your having undertaken it is a proof that you desired to
become acquainted with us. I thank the Great Spirit that he has
protected you through the journey and brought you safely to the
residence of your friends, and I hope He will have you constantly
in his safe keeping, and restore you in good health to your nations
and families.
My friends and children, we are descended from the old nations
which live beyond the great water, but we and our forefathers have
been so long here that we seem like you to have grown out of this
land. We consider ourselves no longer of the old nations beyond
the great water, but as united in one family with our red brethren
here. The French, the English, the Spaniards, have now agreed
with us to retire from all the country which you and we hold
between Canada and Mexico, and never more to return to it. And
remember the words I now speak to you, my children, they are
never to return again. We are now your fathers; and you shall not
lose by the change. As soon as Spain had agreed to withdraw from
all the waters of the Missouri and Mississippi, I felt the desire of
becoming acquainted with all my red children beyond the
Mississippi, and of uniting them with us as we have those on this
side of that river, in the bonds of peace and friendship. I wished to
learn what we could do to benefit them by furnishing them the
necessaries they want in exchange for their furs and peltries. I
therefore sent our beloved man, Captain Lewis, one of my own
family, to go up the Missouri river to get acquainted with all the
Indian nations in its neighborhood, to take them by the hand,
deliver my talks to them, and to inform us in what way we could
be useful to them. Your nation received him kindly, you have
taken him by the hand and been friendly to him. My children, I
thank you for the services you rendered him, and for your attention
to his words. He will now tell us where we should establish trading
houses to be convenient to you all, and what we must send to them.
My friends and children, I have now an important advice to give
you. I have already told you that you and all the red men are my
children, and I wish you to live in peace and friendship with one
another as brethren of the same family ought to do. How much
better is it for neighbors to help than to hurt one another; how
much happier must it make them. If you will cease to make war on
one another, if you will live in friendship with all mankind, you
can employ all your time in providing food and clothing for
yourselves and your families. Your men will not be destroyed in
war, and your women and children will lie down to sleep in their
cabins without fear of being surprised by their enemies and killed
or carried away. Your numbers will be increased instead of
diminishing, and you will live in plenty and in quiet. My children,
I have given this advice to all your red brethren on this side of the
Mississippi; they are following it, they are increasing in their
numbers, are learning to clothe and provide for their families as we
do. Remember then my advice, my children, carry it home to your
people, and tell them that from the day that they have become all
of the same family, from the day that we became father to them all,
we wish, as a true father should do, that we may all live together as
one household, and that before they strike one another, they should
go to their father and let him endeavor to make up the quarrel…
My children, I have long desired to see you; I have now opened my
heart to you, let my words sink into your hearts and never be
forgotten. If ever lying people or bad spirits should raise up clouds
between us, call to mind what I have said, and what you have seen
yourselves. Be sure there are some lying spirits between us; let us
come together as friends and explain to each other what is
misrepresented or misunderstood, the clouds will fly away like
morning fog, and the sun of friendship appear and shine forever
bright and clear between us.
My children, it may happen that while you are here occasion may
arise to talk about many things which I do not now particularly
mention. The Secretary at War will always be ready to talk with
you, and you are to consider whatever he says as said by myself.
He will also take care of you and see that you are furnished with all
comforts here.
Thomas Jefferson, Secret Message to Congress on Indian
Policy, January 18, 1803.
Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
As the continuance of the act for establishing trading houses with
the Indian tribes will be under the consideration of the Legislature
at its present session, I think it my duty to communicate the views
which have guided me in the execution of that act, in order that
you may decide on the policy of continuing it, in the present or any
other form, or discontinue it altogether, if that shall, on the whole,
seem most for the public good.
The Indian tribes residing within the limits of the United States,
have, for a considerable time, been growing more and more uneasy
at the constant diminution of the territory they occupy, although
effected by their own voluntary sales: and the policy has long been
gaining strength with them, of refusing absolutely all further sale,
on any conditions; insomuch that, at this time, it hazards their
friendship, and excites dangerous jealousies and perturbations in
their minds to make any overture for the purchase of the smallest
portions of their land. A very few tribes only are not yet
obstinately in these dispositions. In order peaceably to counteract
this policy of theirs, and to provide an extension of territory which
the rapid increase of our numbers will call for, two measures are
deemed expedient. First: to encourage them to abandon hunting, to
apply to the raising stock, to agriculture and domestic manufacture,
and thereby prove to themselves that less land and labor will
maintain them in this, better than in their former mode of living.
The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life, will then
become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them
for the means of improving their farms, and of increasing their
domestic comforts. Secondly: to multiply trading houses among
them, and place within their reach those things which will
contribute more to their domestic comfort, than the possession of
extensive, but uncultivated wilds. Experience and reflection will
develop to them the wisdom of exchanging what they can spare
and we want, for what we can spare and they want. In leading them
to agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization; in bringing
together their and our settlements, and in preparing them ultimately
to participate in the benefits of our governments, I trust and believe
we are acting for their greatest good. At these trading houses we
have pursued the principles of the act of Congress, which directs
that the commerce shall be carried on liberally, and requires only
that the capital stock shall not be diminished. We consequently
undersell private traders, foreign and domestic, drive them from
the competition; and thus, with the good will of the Indians, rid
ourselves of a description of men who are constantly endeavoring
to excite in the Indian mind suspicions, fears, and irritations
towards us. A letter now enclosed, shows the effect of our
competition on the operations of the traders, while the Indians,
perceiving the advantage of purchasing from us, are soliciting
generally, our establishment of trading houses among them. In one
quarter this is particularly interesting. The Legislature, reflecting
on the late occurrences on the Mississippi, must be sensible how
desirable it is to possess a respectable breadth of country on that
river, from our Southern limit to the Illinois at least; so that we
may present as firm a front on that as on our Eastern border. We
possess what is below the Yazoo, and can probably acquire a
certain breadth from the Illinois and Wabash to the Ohio; but
between the Ohio and Yazoo, the country all belongs to the
Chickasaws, the most friendly tribe within our limits, but the most
decided against the alienation of lands. The portion of their country
most important for us is exactly that which they do not inhabit.
Their settlements are not on the Mississippi, but in the interior
country. They have lately shown a desire to become agricultural;
and this leads to the desire of buying implements and comforts. In
the strengthening and gratifying of these wants, I see the only
prospect of planting on the Mississippi itself, the means of its own
safety. Duty has required me to submit these views to the judgment
of the Legislature; but as their disclosure might embarrass and
defeat their effect, they are committed to the special confidence of
the two Houses.
While the extension of the public commerce among the Indian
tribes, may deprive of that source of profit such of our citizens as
are engaged in it, it might be worthy the attention of Congress, in
their care of individual as well as of the general interest, to point,
in another direction, the enterprise of these citizens, as profitably
for themselves, and more usefully for the public. The river
Missouri, and the Indians inhabiting it, are not as well known as is
rendered desirable by their connexion with the Mississippi, and
consequently with us. It is, however, understood, that the country
on that river is inhabited by numerous tribes, who furnish great
supplies of furs and peltry to the trade of another nation, carried on
in a high latitude, through an infinite number of portages and lakes,
shut up by ice through a long season.

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Explanation & Answer:
2 Paragraphs

thomas jefferson

American development

Secret Message to Congress on Indian Policy

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