Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Frederick C. Reuter, 30 August 1806

Baltimore 30mâ Augusti 1806.

Excellentissime Domine!

Quod ea, quæ præterlapso vernali tempore in literis meis. Excellentia Vestræ à me oblatis, promittebam (:de civilisatione sciliat Cherokiæ Nationis:) non imploreum, non in malum mihi vertat, quæso, Excellentia Vestra, sed de omisso mihi ignoscat!

Hoc opus adgrediendi voluntas mihi non deceat, sed aliqua media tantùm, hoc opus implendi, mihi deficiebant. Benevolentia Vestra, ut mihi à belli Secretario literas ad Dnum. Return J. Meigs darentur, curabat, et eapropter debitum habes Eidem reditum meum ad urbem Baltimore insinuare, quin dictæ Nationis culturæ me adplicassem.

Quod promissa impiere non valerem, quæ tam libenter implevissem, re verâ summopere dolebam. Variæ circumstantiæ mihi ad hoc impediebant. Illam ad cultivandam Gentam necessariam literaturam apud Cherokiam Nationem introducere mentis eram in propriâ enum cherokia lingua, optimum culturæ medium, ast me ipsum ex propriis meis mediis sustentandi media necessaria mihi deceant. Iter ad illam Nationem propriis meis sumptibus perfeceram, ast tali modô mihi eliam pro futurô sustentando imper eram; et licet mihi summopere apud Cherokiam Nationem placeret, et tam libenter apud illam mansissem, tamen defectu necessariæ sustentationis, Baltimore reverti, coartus eram.

Ex additâ Copiâ. Excellentia Vestra plura videbit. Excellentiæ Vestræ Servus Obedientissimus

Fredk Caesar Reuter.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.


Southwest Point 26th July 1806.

The bearer Mr. Frederick C. Reuter arrived here on the 30th June from Baltimore with letters of introduction from the Secretary of War by the desire of the President of the United States—Mr. Reuters object was to Visit and remain some time in the Cherokee Nation, provided he Should find it practicable by his instruction to be usefull in forwarding their civilisation and improvement in morals by inculcating amongst them the duties of man to man and to Society. On the 8th of this Instant he went a Journey with me into the interior of the Cherokee Country 170 miles and returned here on the 24th having been 16 days on the Jourey in which time we attended a council of the Chiefs. Mr. Reuter was introduced to the Chiefs in council and received by them in a frindly manner Saying that he being recommended by the President and the Secretary of War intitled him to their confidence and that he might remain in their Country as long as Should be his wish: but as this must have been intirely at his private expense and would not comport with his circumstances—he found it improper for him to make a residence with them. he finding also that there is already Several Schools established, and no opening for more at present he returns back with less regret as he finds considerable improvement making amongst those people.

Mr. Reuters manners and conduct While in this part of the country has been that of a Gentleman and Christian—his motives in coming out to this Wilderness are of the best kind, and justly intitle him to the esteem of all those, who from principle feel themselves interested in the melioration of any part of the human race and particularly so when these long lost people were the object of his benevolent intentions.—Mr. Reuter being lately from Europe and a Stranger in this Country has induced to make the above Statement his manners has intitled him to my esteem and good wishes for his progress in doing good which seems to be his object as he passes th[. . .].

Return J Meigs.

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