I’ve been watching a special on PBS (I DVR’d it-possibly one of the best inventions ever) on Andrew Jackson. Its been very informative on both the good and evil things President Andrew Jackson did before and while in office.
Just a fun fact, he was the first President to bring campaigning to the presidential race. And of course with campaigning, came the first mudslinging. Lovely.
But of course the evil that men do lives after them, said Mark Antony (not the singer married to J-Lo). So I’ll speak of some evil.
Perhaps one of the darkest points in his office-and as some have even pointed out, even in American history-was the removal of Cherokee Indians from East of the Mississippi to West of the Mississippi.
The Cherokee Indians had actually taken Thomas Jefferson’s advice to assimilate into the European way of life. So they began schools, a newspaper, wore clothes, lived in houses, etc…. Yet they were still ‘savages’ which needed to be removed for civilization to take place, prosperity, and ‘religion’ (words from Jackson).
While the Supreme Court actually heard and voted in favor of missionary pleas to keep the Cherokees there (they got something right!), Jackson informed Georgia they had no obligation to honor the Supreme Court’s decision on account that the Cherokees were not really a nation. Not really sure how that would go over today.
The irony of it all, is that the Cherokees helped Jackson’s militia defeat the Creek Indian tribe, which put his name on the map.
Well, as you know, the Trail of Tears took place, and over 2000 people died on the journey. According to missionaries who remained with the Cherokee (at least they had some white people to trust), many were allowed nothing but the clothes on their back.
Does this story bother me so much because I’m 1/32 Cherokee or that I’m married to a 1/4 Pamunkey Indian? No, it bothers me because it is pure evil. I like America, but we have many skeletons in our closet that we forget about (I guess that makes them skeletons in the closet and not skeletons laying on the floor). Let’s not pretend that this nation, until recently, has operated under Christian principles. Removing the savages, and the missionaries ministering to them, so we can practice prosperity and religion. Nice work guys.