Thomas Jefferson: Letter to Indiana Territory Governor William H. Harrison

(1803)

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Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to Indiana Territory Governor William H. Harrison of February 27, 1803, was sent with the purpose of giving Harrison (who would become America’s ninth president) a broad picture of the administration's policies with regard to Indian tribes in the West. This “unofficial and private” letter of Jefferson’s outlines an Indian policy that has an odd ring to modern ears.


On the one hand, Jefferson consistently stressed that he wanted to live in peace with the...