November 24, 1801 – Jefferson Writes to Monroe of America’s Manifest Destiny

On this day in history, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Monroe contemplating the future of the United States, declaring in part:

However our present interests may restrain us within our own limits, it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits, & cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, & by similar laws; nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface.”

He then discusses possible destinations for the “blot and mixtures,” i.e., Native Americans, who will need a place to go after their title to the land would be “extinguished.”

You can read the full letter here.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson


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