restricted access 18. President Jefferson on Indian Trading Houses, January 18, 1803
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21 Mero district, or to prevent the citizens of Tennessee from keeping in repair the said road, under the direction or orders of the governor of said state, and of the navigation of the Tennessee river, as reserved and secured by treaty; nor shall this act be construed to prevent any person or persons travelling from Knoxville to Price’s settlement, or to the settlement on Obed’s river, (so called,) provided they shall travel in the trace or path which is usually travelled, and provided the Indians make no objection; but if the Indians object, the President of the United States is hereby authorized to issue a proclamation, prohibiting all travelling on said traces, or either of them, as the case may be, after which, the penalties of this act shall be incurred by every person travelling or being found on said traces, or either of them, to which the prohibition may apply, within the Indian boundary, without a passport. Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized to cause to be clearly ascertained and distinctly marked, in all such places as he shall deem necessary, and in such manner as he shall direct, any other boundary lines between the United States and any Indian tribe, which now are, or hereafter may be established by treaty. Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be authorized to take such measures, from time to time, as to him may appear expedient to prevent or restrain the vending or distribution of spirituous liquors among all or any of the said Indian tribes, any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force from the passage thereof. . . . [U.S. Statutes at Large, 2:139–46.] 18. President Jefferson on Indian Trading Houses January 18, 1803 Jefferson sent a special message to Congress at the beginning of 1803, in which he urged a continuation of the government trading houses established in the Indian country. His policy of moving the Indians from a hunting economy to an agricultural state was strongly stated in the message. Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: As the continuance of the act for establishing trading houses with the Indian tribes will be under the consideration of the Legislature at its present session, I think it my duty to communicate the views which have guided me in the execution of that act, in order that you may decide on the policy of continuing it in the present or any other form, or discontinue it altogether if that shall, on the whole, seem most for the public good. The Indian tribes residing within the limits of the United States have for a considerable time been growing more and more uneasy at the constant diminution of the territory they occupy, although effected by their own voluntary sales, and the policy has long been gaining strength with them of refusing absolutely all further sale on any conditions, insomuch that at this time it hazards their friendship and excites dangerous jealousies and perturbations in their minds to make any overture for the purchase of the smallest portions of their land. A very few tribes only are not yet obstinately in these dispositions. In order peaceably to counteract this policy of theirs and to provide an extension of territory which the rapid increase of our numbers will call for, two measures are deemed expedient. First. To encourage them to abandon hunting, to apply to the raising stock, to agriculture, and domestic manufacture, and thereby prove to themselves that less land and labor will maintain them in this better than in their former mode of living. The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life will then become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them for the means of improving their farms and of increasing their domestic comforts. Secondly. To multiply trading houses among them, and place within their reach those things which will contribute more to their domestic comfort than the possession of extensive but uncultivated wilds. Experience and reflection will 22 develop to them the wisdom of exchanging what they can spare and we want for what we can spare and they want. In leading them thus to agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization ; in bringing together their and our sentiments, and in preparing them ultimately to participate...


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