Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 12 August 1807

Monticello Aug. 12. 07.

Dear Sir

I return you all the papers recieved in yours of the 9th. except Morrison’s letter on the subject of Alston, which altho’ expressed to be confidential, I send to mr Hay under that injunction, merely for his information, should there be other bearings on the same point. in my conscience I have no doubt as to his participation. to your papers I add some others. particularly respecting the defence of St. Mary’s & Beaufort, that you may take them into consideration as a part of the general subject of defence. I sincerely wish this business of levying duty on Creek goods could be stopped. we have no right to make them contribute to the support of our government. the conduct of Capt. Isaac is nettling; but what can we do while we are in the wrong? I wonder we hear nothing from Hawkins on the subject. I wish Govr. Harrison may be able to have the murder of the Kaskaskian by the Kickapoo settled in the Indn. way. I think it would not be amiss for him to bring over Decoign secretly by a douceur by which he is easily influenced. I think too that if the apprehension of the murderer Red could be effected by our making up Harrison’s reward of 300. D. one thousand, it would be well laid out. both the Indians & our own people want some example of Punishment for the murder of an Indian. with respect to the Prophet, if those who are in danger from him would settle it in their own way, it would be their affair. but we should do nothing towards it. that kind of policy is not in the character of our government, and still less of the paternal spirit we wish to shew towards that people. but could not Harrison gain over the prophet, who no doubt is a scoundrel and only needs his price. the best conduct we can pursue to countervail these movements among the Indians is to confirm our friends by redoubled acts of justice & favor, & to endeavor to draw over the individuals indisposed towards us. the operations we contemplate, should there be occasion for them, would have an imposing effect on their minds, & if succesful will indeed put them entirely in our power. if no occasion arises for carrying these operations into effect, then we shall have time enough to get the Indian mind to rights. I think it an unlucky time for Govr. Hull to press the purchase of their lands, & hope he will not press it. that is the only point on which the Indians feel very sore towards us. if we have war, those lands can not now be settled; if peace, any future moment will be more favorable.

I really believe that matters in the Chesapeake will remain quiet until further orders from England, and that so soon as you have set all works of preparation into motion, your visit to your family & affairs may be safely made. be so good as to inform me how I am to address letters which I wish to go to yourself personally during your absence. Wishing you a happy meeting with your friends I salute you with affection & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PHi: Daniel Parker Papers.

Index Entries