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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7. ABORIGINES OF AMERICA, Languages.—[continued]
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7. ABORIGINES OF AMERICA, Languages.—[continued]

The question whether the
Indians of America have emigrated from another
continent is still undecided. Their vague
and imperfect traditions can satisfy no mind on
that subject. I have long considered their languages
as the only remaining monument of
connection with other nations, or the want of it,
to which we can now have access. They will likewise
show their connection with one another.


Page 2
Very early in life, therefore, I formed a vocabulary
of such objects as, being present everywhere,
would probably have a name in every
language; and my course of life having given
me opportunities of obtaining vocabularies of
many Indian tribes, I have done so on my
original plan, which, though far from being
perfect, has the valuable advantage of identity,
of thus bringing the languages to the same
points of comparison. * * * The Indians
west of the Mississippi and south of the Arkansas,
present a much longer list of tribes than
I had expected; and the relations in which you
stand with them * * * induce me to hope
you will avail us of your means of collecting
their languages for this purpose.—
To Dr. Sibley. Washington ed. iv, 580.
(W. 1805)