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The Fate of Native Americans
Digital History ID 228

Author:   Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson came to regard the assimilationist program as a failure. In this letter, he laments the failure of his "benevolent plan" to educate Indians--and attributes the failure to British policy.


They would have mixed their blood with ours, and been amalgamated and identified with us within no distant period of time.... They [the British] seduced the greater part of the tribes within our neighborhood, to take up the hatchet against us, and the cruel massacres they have committed on the women and children of our frontiers taken by surprise, will oblige us now to pursue them to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.... The confirmed brutalization, if not the extermination, of this race in our America is therefore to form an additional chapter in the English history of the same colored man in Asia, and of the brethren of their own color in Ireland and wherever else Anglo-mercantile cupidity can find a two-penny interest in deluging the earth with human blood.

Additional information: Thomas Jefferson to Baron Alexander von Humboldt

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