Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark


Western Indians

Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, March 10, 1793 In his official capacity as Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson writes to George Washington, reiterating the boundaries of the western frontiers of the United States, particularly as they apply to treaties with Native groups.

Thomas Jefferson to William Dunbar, January 16, 1800 Thomas Jefferson writes to William Dunbar, thanking him for promised communications about Native languages from Western groups and meteorological observations that may be used in comparative studies. Reports from Dunbar were read at the American Philosophical Society and several appear in the "Reports" section of this archive.

William Dunbar to the American Philosophical Society, via Thomas Jefferson, read January 16, 1801. This letter, with several other missives and reports written by Dunbar, were forward by Jefferson to the American Philosphical Society, where they were read before the Society and later published in theTransactions of the Philosophical Society of Americain 1804. Dunbar describes the sign language used by Native Americans between the Mississippi River and the "Western American ocean."