AN EXCEPTIONAL SIGNED THOMAS JEFFERSON ADDRESS TO THE CHEROKEE: “MY CHILDREN, THIS IS WHAT I WISHED TO SAY TO YOU. TO GO ON IN LEARNING TO CULTIVATE THE EARTH, AND TO AVOID WAR… TELL ALL YOUR CHIEFS, YOUNG MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN THAT I TAKE THEM BY THE HAND & HOLD IT FAST, THAT I AM THEIR FATHER, WISH THEIR HAPPINESS & WELL BEING, & AM ALWAYS WILLING TO PROMOTE THEIR GOOD”
JEFFERSON, Thomas. Manuscript Document Signed. Washington, January 10, 1806.
This extraordinary manuscript, signed by President Thomas Jefferson, is his address, in the presidential role as “The Great White Father” of the Indian Nations, to his “Children,” the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation. At the time of writing, the Cherokees had visited Washington to make a treaty defining their boundaries. The purchase of Louisiana and the control of the Mississippi River opened vast territories in the West, and the Native Americans, forced by the advance of the white pioneers, were crossing the rivers to new hunting grounds. Some of the Cherokees had migrated to the West, but others had remained in Georgia and Tennessee. This is a sterling example of Jefferson’s great eloquence, on this occasion following successful treaty negotiations. Boldly signed at the end "Th: Jefferson," with one additional word "inclosed" added to the text in Jefferson's hand. $240,000.