On this day in history, Feb. 27, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson wrote a private letter William Henry Harrison outlining his plans to gain control of massive amounts of Indigenous lands.
At the time, Harrison was serving as the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, the frontier of his day. The Territory included an expansive area that would later become the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and parts of Michigan and Minnesota. Harrison was dealing with many Indigenous nations. Jefferson wrote him privately that “I may with safety give you a more extensive view of our policy respecting the Indians.”