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.”
Date Range
July 18, 1824
Quote Category