RCC Honors History Project

Annual Message to Congress, 1832

Posted by amissi on March 8, 2009

Annual Message to Congress, 1832

Also known as: State of the Union Address, 1832
Date: 1832Date: 1832

In his fourth annual message, printed and delivered to Congress on December 4, 1832, Andrew Jackson offered a status report on the performance of the federal government’s offices. The post office and militia, he noted, were performing well, while the judiciary had failed to grow quickly enough to keep pace with the westward expansion of the country. “If the existing system be a good one,” Jackson wrote, “why should it not be extended? If it be a bad one, why is it suffered to exist?” He also extended his support for the forced relocation of American Indian tribes, characterizing the policy as “wise and humane.”

A Part of the Annual Message to Congress (1832)

Andrew Jackson

From: The American Presidency Project.

December 4, 1832

I am happy to inform you that the wise and humane policy of transferring from the eastern to the western side of the Mississippi the remnants of our aboriginal tribes, with their own consent and upon just terms, has been steadily pursued, and is approaching, I trust, its consummation. By reference to the report of the Secretary of War and to the documents submitted with it you will see the progress which has been made since your last session in the arrangement of the various matters connected with our Indian relations. With one exception every subject involving any question of conflicting jurisdiction or of peculiar difficulty has been happily disposed of, and the conviction evidently gains ground among the Indians that their removal to the country assigned by the United States for their permanent residence furnishes the only hope of their ultimate prosperity.

With that portion of the Cherokees, however, living within the State of Georgia it has been found impracticable as yet to make a satisfactory adjustment. Such was my anxiety to remove all the grounds of complaint and to bring to a termination the difficulties in which they are involved that I directed the very liberal propositions to be made to them which accompany the documents herewith submitted. They can not but have seen in these offers the evidence of the strongest disposition on the part of the Government to deal justly and liberally with them. An ample indemnity was offered for their present possessions, a liberal provision for their future support and improvement, and full security for their private and political rights. What ever difference of opinion may have prevailed respecting the just claims of these people, there will probably be none respecting the liberality of the propositions, and very little respecting the expediency of their immediate acceptance. They were, however, rejected, and thus the position of these Indians remains unchanged, as do the views communicated in my message to the Senate of [1831-02-22].

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