Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Henry Dearborn, 12 January 1805

War Department
January 12th. 1805


I have the honor of transmitting herewith, a general view of the subject of our purchases from the several Indian nations, in the course of the last four years. It may not be strictly correct as to the respective quantities of land. But I presume the quantity is not in any case overrated. There may also be some small inaccuracies as to the sums paid by way of presents &c. but I am satisfied that the whole is sufficiently correct to answer the purpose intended.

I take the liberty of observing, that I had not considered the Choctaw and Vincennes bargains, in any other light than that of recognitions of the boundaries of former cessions, if so, it may be improper to take those cases into the present calculation. It will be found after leaving them out of the account, that the average price we have paid and engaged to pay for Indian cessions, does not amount to quite one quarter of a cent per acre; and that, exclusive of the purchase from the Sacs and Foxes, the remainder will fall a little short of one cent per acre, taking into the account all the expenses of Treaties: The amount of the several cessions and the sums paid and to be paid, being estimated as follows.

Acres. Dollars
 Creek Cession in 1802 cent
Part of Tallasee County 2.500.000 } Sums paid & to be paid 87.000
On the Oconee 1.000.000
3.500.000 cent
Kaskaskias Cession 8.000.000 1. Dollar per thousand 8.000 1/10
Piankeshaw & Delaware Cession 2.000.000 6. Dollars per thousand 12.000
Sacs and Foxes ” 50.000.000 44 cents per thousand 22.000
63.000.000 129.000
Choctaw recognition was of 1,955.020. Expenses of treating estimated at 13.000
Vincennes do.   1,912,320 142.000

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my high respect & consideration.

H Dearborn

[Calculations in TJ’s hand:]

Louisiana. 30.° to 49.° = 19.° lat. × 69 = 1311 miles
22½ ° long × 41 = 922½ miles × = 1,209,397 
201,566   to wit deducted from the square
1,007,831. sq. miles × 640 = 645,011,840. as. ÷ 15.Ms.D. = 2 cents per ac
Florida E. of Perdido about 1.° lat. × 69 miles × = 24,633 sq. miles × 640 = 15,765,120. as.
6.° long. x 59½ miles
the Choctaws. from Petits prairies to 31.° is 224. miles
all the waters of Misipi wd be in breadth 84. miles × = 18816. sq. mi. × 640 = 12,042,240 
deduct 1,955,020. ours by recognition

[Text in italics in Thomas Jefferson’s hand]

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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