Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Lydia Huntley Sigourney

I rejoice also in your advocation of the Indian rights. & concur in all your sentiments in their favor ... I wish that was the only blot in our moral history, and that no other race had higher charges to bring against us. I am not apt to despair; yet I see not how we are to disengage ourselves from that deplorable entanglement, we have the wolf by the ears1 and feel the danger of either holding or letting him loose. I shall not live to see it but those who come after us will be wiser than we are, for light is spreading and man improving. to that advancement I look, and to the dispensations of an all-wise and all-powerful providence to devise the means of effecting what is right.

RC (NhCSp); in the hand of Virginia J. Randolph Trist and signed by TJ. Dft (NNPM); entirely in the hand of TJ.
1In TJ’s draft this phrase appears as “wolf by the ear.”
Author
Thomas Jefferson
Recipient
Lydia Huntley Sigourney
Date Range
Date
July 18, 1824
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Quote Category