The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


It is sometime since I have understood that there are large herds of horses in a wild state, in the country west of the Mississippi, and have been desirous of obtaining details of their history in that State. Mr. Brown, Senator from Kentucky, informs me it would be in your power to give interesting information on this subject, and encourages me to ask it. The circumstances of the old world have, beyond the records of history, been such as admitted not that animal to exist in a state of nature. The condition of America is rapidly advancing to the same. The present then is probably the only moment in the age of the world, and the herds above mentioned the only subjects, of which we can avail ourselves to obtain what has never yet been recorded, and never can be again in all probability. I will add that your information is the sole reliance, as far as I can at present see, for obtaining this desideratum. You will render to natural history a very acceptable service, therefore, if you will enable our Philosophical Society to add so interesting a chapter to the history of this animal.

to Philip Nolan, 24 June 1798