Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John L. Meredith, 14 May 1819

Urbana, Ohio, 14th May 1819.—

Venerable Sir,

Being a personal stranger to you, it may be considered presumption in me to address you, but considering the motives that induce it, am in hopes that you will pardon my boldness

I have had in contemplation for some time, in concert with Mr Isaac Walker, (a Qr blood , & his father (a white man) & his mother (a half) of the once powerful Myandot nation of Indians, to prepare for publication, the numerous and curious traditions of those people, respecting their origin, their different changes in their mode of government, their Kings with their laws, the reasons for dethroning the monarchs & establish a government on Republican principles,—their ancient & present modes of warfare, causes of War, with their Wars, with other Red powers, & the Whites, their ancient means, (as well as modern) of carrying on War.—their manner of making peace.—with a traditional and oral biography of their most distinguished men, ancients &c.—Ideas of the remains of animals now extinct—& the ancient fortifications that are now found in this and the adjoining states.—their possessions, disposal of the same—and a general outline of the Costumes, manners & Customs.—Religions Exercises, ideas of Deity, Anecdotes, &c &c.—

But I do not wish to attempt such a thing, without the opinion of some distinguished member of our happy Republic,—and knowing of no one, more worthy, or more esteemed for opinions on such matters than yourself.—I have to request of your goodness to inform me as early as convenient, your thoughts on the subjects. for if you deem it worthy of publication, I wish you to commence the thing immediately.—With the highest regard, I subscribe myself

Yr obt Servt

John. L. Meredith

MoSHi: Thomas Jefferson Collection (formerly Bixby).

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