Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart

I fear from an expression in your letter that the people of Kentucké think of separating, not only from Virginia (in which they are right,) but also from the confederacy. I own I should think this a most calamitous event, and such an one as every good citizen on both sides should set himself against. our present federal limits are not too large for good government, nor will the increase of votes in Congress produce any ill effect. on the contrary it will drown the little divisions at present existing there. our confederacy must be viewed as the nest from which all America, North & South is to be peopled. we should take care too not to think it for the interest of that great continent to press too soon on the Spaniards. those countries cannot be in better hands. my fear is that they are too feeble to hold it them till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them peice by peice. the navigation of the Missisipi we must have. this is all we are as yet ready to receive.

PrC (DLC). Published in PTJ, 9:217–19.
Date Range
January 25, 1786
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