Andrew Jackson and the Removal of Indians

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Imagine being forcefully removed from an area you once called home. A place where time went by at a leisurely pace. A place where everything you knew and had been there, your people, family, and friends. Imagine all that torn apart, taken away, and relocated to an area of no knowledge. Everyone’s pain, anger, and confusion. All because of some greedy Americans who wanted their land back. As harsh as it may seem it has happened and what I’m talking about is Andrew Jackson’s removal of Indians back in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Although his actions for passing this law seemed like harsh punishment, there was a possibility of it being a good outcome between the Indians and Americans.

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Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 on May 28, 1830. The purpose of this act was to remove Indians that were in the southeast portion of the United States. He wanted to move them west of the Mississippi river. Any Indians on United States land were subjected to removal since the land was owned by the United States. He gave his Seventh Annual Message to Congress: 2 government document he states many reasons why he passed the law and how it could benefit the Indians as well. There is also a letter sent from the governor of Georgia asking for help since the discovery of gold near Indian territory.

This is a letter excerpt of a letter from Gov. George R. Gilmer of Georgia to President Andrew Jackson, June 17, 1830 Gold in Cherokee Nation The gold region is situated very near the thickly inhabited part of the frontier part of the State. . .

Since the discovery of gold in the Cherokee country, the opinion very generally prevailed that those who engaged in digging for it violated no right except that of the State; and that, after the passage of the law extending the jurisdiction of the State over that country, the Government of the United States would have no authority to enforce the non-intercourse law. What effect the proclamation, prohibiting all persons, both Indians and whites, from digging gold, may have in allaying the excitement among the persons who have been removed as intruders, is very uncertain. It is probable that it may prevent an immediate attack upon the Indians so employed, from the expectation that they will be restrained by the authority of the State.

I shall be compelled to resort to the tedious process of the courts for this purpose, the laws of the State not having invested the governor with the power to protect the public property by military force.

In the meantime, it is very desirable that the President would direct the officers commanding the United States troops to prevent intrusion upon the property of the State by the Indians, at the same time defending the occupant rights of the Indians from intrusion by the whites.. From my understanding, governor George R. Gilmer sends this letter in hopes of getting help from the Andrew Jackson. From this excerpt we can assume Andrew Jackson may have used this a reason to why he signed the bill, although it is not clearly stated I am willing to assume he may have. In the Indian Removal Act of 1830 there are many sections with laws set for to being enacted. In Section 2 of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 it states, within the bounds of any one or more of the states or territories, where the land claimed and occupied by the Indians, is owned by the United States, or the United States are bound to the state within which it lies to extinguish the Indian claim thereto. Andrew Jackson wanted to claim this land back to United States the land occupied by Indians. He was never fond of the Indians due to them being old enemies. Thus, making him most responsible for the idea of removing Indians from the east and sending them west of the Mississippi in present day Oklahoma. This act wasn’t all too bad there were different sections that had great things in them for example in Section 8 of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 it states And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this act, the sum of five hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated.. The Indians would be given five-hundred thousand dollars for their troubles. In section 6 of the Indian Removal act of 1830 it states, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tribe or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons whatever.

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