July 17th, 2007
Since publishing my book in September, I have found several other pieces of evidence that show the widespread acceptance and understanding of the Doctrine of Discovery in our early history.
1.Â President Thomas Jefferson intended to remove the eastern Indians west of the Mississippi as early as 1803 and must have informed Meriwether Lewis of this goal.Â In the report Lewis & Clark sent to Jefferson from their first winter encampment of 1804-05 from Fort Mandan, Clark included an extensive report entitled the “Estimate of the Eastern Indians.” Â Clark specifically noted several western tribes that would be amenable to being moved to make room for other specifically named tribes to be removed from east of the Mississippi.Â Clark obviously knew of Jeffersonâ€™s plans to remove the eastern Indians and reported on that possibility.Â Vol. 3 The Definitive Journals of Lewis & Clark (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, Gary E. Moulton ed. 1987), pp. 387, 391, 394, 405.Â
2.Â Private Joseph Whitehouse kept his own journal during the Lewis & Clark expedition.Â On December 10, 1806, he wrote a preface to his journal that demonstrated his clear understanding of the effect of the Doctrine of Discovery.Â He stated that he believed that the United States was now the owner of the Oregon country due to the expedition: “by unfolding Countries; hitherto unexplored, and which I presume, may be considered as a part belonging to the United States, it will be received as a faithful tribute to the prosperity of my Country.”Â Vol. 11 The Definitive Journals of Lewis & Clark: Joseph Whitehouse (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, Gary E. Moulton ed. 1987), p. 7.