Jefferson told his agents never to coerce tribal nations to sell their lands; the lands were theirs as long as they wished. But in a letter to Indiana Territory Gov. William Henry Harrison, Jefferson suggested that if the various nations could be encouraged to purchase goods on credit, they would likely fall into debt, which they could relieve by selling their lands to the government. Trading posts were established on the frontier to further that aim.
When some tribal nations resisted efforts by the United States to acquire their land, Jefferson asked in a confidential letter to Congress for money to establish more trading posts "[i]n order peaceably to counteract this policy of theirs." Ultimately, 28 government trading posts operated on the frontier. Jefferson was also the earliest architect of a plan to remove all American Indians east of the Mississippi.
Miller's book shows that Jefferson was disingenuous. "Jefferson was the most aggressive, expansionist president we ever had," Miller wrote. "He had ulterior motives: to get [American Indians] out of the way as fast as possible and acquire their land."