Andrew Jackson and the Cherokee "Trail of Tears"

Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) was America's seventh president.  As reflected in this video clip, he is remembered for both the "pros and cons" of his life and his tenure as America's leader.

While President, Jackson wanted the country to take over land owned by the Cherokee Nation.  Agreeing with that assessment, the United States Congress passed the "Indian Removal Act," forcing the Cherokee to uproot their lives and move elsewhere. 

The Cherokee, supported by the U.S. Supreme Court (in Worcester v Georgia), resisted what would be a disastrous move for them.

Then ... on December 29, 1835, twenty-one Cherokee "headmen" and two federal agents signed the New Echota Treaty.  That document changed the course of Cherokee history, mandating people of the Cherokee Nation to be uprooted from their homes and forced West.  The discovery of gold, in Georgia, had much to do with that result.

The Cherokee people refer to that dark time in American history as their "Trail of Tears." 

The White House provides a brief summary of President Jackson's life:

Born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767, he received sporadic education. But in his late teens he read law for about two years, and he became an outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee. Fiercely jealous of his honor, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel.

Jackson prospered sufficiently to buy slaves and to build a mansion, the Hermitage, near Nashville. He was the first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. A major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans.

In 1824 some state political factions rallied around Jackson; by 1828 enough had joined "Old Hickory"[his nickname] to win numerous state elections and control of the Federal administration in Washington.

. . .Decrying officeholders who seemed to enjoy life tenure, he believed Government duties could be "so plain and simple" that offices should rotate among deserving applicants.

. . .His views won approval from the American electorate; in 1832 he polled more than 56 percent of the popular vote and almost five times as many electoral votes as [Henry] Clay.

This clip, recreating events from Jackson's life - including what happened to the Cherokee - is fromthe PBS documentary: "Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency" (by Carl Byker, Mitch Wilson and KCET Los Angeles).

Media Credits

Music video entitled "Andrew Jackson - The Atrocious Saint" by Christopher Hedge, with David Grisman and R. Carlos Nakai.  From the PBS documentary: "Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency" (by Carl Byker, Mitch Wilson and KCET Los Angeles).

Online, courtesy Christopher Hedge via YouTube.


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"Andrew Jackson and the Cherokee "Trail of Tears"" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 18, 2020.
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