On This Day: Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act into law

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act into law. The bill enabled the federal government to negotiate with southeastern Native American tribes for their ancestral lands in states such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. As a result, some 60,000 Native Americans were forced westward into “Indian Territory” (present-day Oklahoma). The mass migration resulted in more than 4,000 deaths and became known as the Trail of Tears.

At the time, Jackson said the removal would “incalculably strengthen the southwestern frontier,” and would enable new states like Alabama and Mississippi to “advance rapidly in population, wealth and power.” By the end of his presidency in 1837, his administration negotiated almost 70 removal treaties that led to the relocation of 50,000 eastern Native Americans to the Indian Territory. Twenty five million acres of land were now freed up for white settlement in the east and as a result used for the expansion of slavery.

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Grayman Share
Author: Grayman Share

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