Jefferson on the Indians
By Bryan Caplan
I was curious to read more about Jefferson’s position on the Indians. Here’s a nice set of quotations. It’s full of high-minded rhetoric, like:
Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, to cultivate an affectionate attachment from them by everything just and liberal which we can do for them within the bounds of reason, and by giving them effectual protection against wrongs from our own people.
But when push comes to shove, however, he regretfully embraces genocide:
No nation rejecting our friendship, and commencing wanton and unprovoked war against us, shall ever after remain within our reach; it shall never be in their power to strike us a second time.
Thus, Jefferson’s position on the Indians is very much like his position on blacks: It’s a shame things had to be this way, but that’s not going to stop us from holding you as slaves/killing you down to the last woman and child.
P.S. Here’s Jefferson on slavery. What a hypocrite.