Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joshua Prout, 10 May 1806

Wadesboro’ 10th May 1806.


This serves to acknowledge the receipt of your Note of the 19th. Septr. last enclosing the Certificate requested. I did not expect to take the liberty to write you again, but the several matters hinted at in my letter, having the appearance of a favorable termination induces me to congratulate you on the happy wish, an acquisition of such extensive fertile Territory at so cheap a rate, I believe is not known in the History of any Age, an Acquisition calculated to promote the wealth & happiness of unborn Millions, & should Congress make the terms of settlement easy, [. . .] but Thousands of Europeans who are now suffering under the Galling Yoke of Tyranny, will find an Asylm in the now uncultivated Forests of America. I have for sometime wish’d to Travel thro the Floridas for the purpose of acquiring a settlement suitable for a Rising family, but the consideration of their being governed by a Monarch & not being willing to risk the happiness I derive from living under the best Goverment on earth, a Goverment calculated to insure the happiness of the world, has prevented me. The exchange of some of our lands on the West side of the Missisippi, for those on the East side I consider of the First Importance, as by this exchange we, should [. . . .] a sufficient hope for Two large States on [the] East side of the Missisippi if we extend them from the Atlantic to the mountains. perhaps no Country has greater advantages with respect to fertility of Soil, Climate, & Navigation than the mass of this extensive Country, & should we be so successful as to obtain it by purchase & you should (with diffidence I mention it) after such enquiry as you may deem proper, think me worthy of any appointment there, you may rest assured that every exertion in my power to support the Dignity of my country & merit the Confidence you may repose in me shall be exerted so far as my abilities extend. with Sentiments of respect, I am Sir yr Mo Obt Hbl Servt

Joshua Prout

ViWC: Jefferson Papers, Tucker-Coleman Collection.

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