To Samuel A. Otis
Philadelphia Feb. 13. 1792.
I inclose you the original Memoir of Monsr. Morel with the translation of it made by the clerk for foreign languages employed in the office of the Secretary of state and have the honour to be Sir Your very humble servt,
RC (DNA: RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate, 2A-F5); addressed: “Mr. Otis, Secretary of the Senate.” Enclosure: letter and memorial of D. L. Morel of Saint Do mingue, 7 Feb. 1792 (Tr in DLC; in Freneau’s hand). The original letter and memorial (missing) had first gone to the House of Representatives, but they had been forwarded on 10 Feb. to the Senate and then to TJ for translation in his office (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , i, 388). Noting that he had been in the U.S. but six months, Morel discussed the potential threat that the American Indians posed for the nation’s security. His recent visit with the Oneida Indians convinced him that they and other Indian tribes were apt to be receptive to attempts by “natural enemies” of the U.S. to turn them against it because of American violations of treaties and continual encroachments upon their lands. He proposed that alliances be made with the Indians, and that tribal lands be guaranteed by the U.S. government. Thus united to their lands, the Indians would eventually cease their nomadic habits, provide protection to an already far-flung American population by serving as a buffer, and progress toward civilization. Alliances with the Indians would be encouraged by intermarriage, a practice Morel noted had been used with good results by the French in Canada.
The translation forwarded by TJ was ordered returned with the original documents to the House of Representatives, where on 17 Feb. it was tabled (JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, Gales, 1820-21, 5 vols. description ends , i, 391; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, Gales & Seaton, 1826- description ends , i, 510).