RCC Honors History Project

Jackson’s First Annual Congressional Address (12.8.1829)

Posted by sierralapoint on November 16, 2009

“Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character. Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for awhile their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity.”

Isn’t this just like the righteous, self-serving American government to recognize their exploitation and wasteful/harmful practices, and then call it an art; to recognize the victimization of an innocent, albeit unfortunate people, and then assert that “national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity.”  Wow.  Really America?  It’s like that?  If we really wanted to take every effort to avert such a calamity, maybe we should not have launched so many ‘punitive explorations.’  Then at least we wouldn’t have to do so much cleaning up after ourselves…

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One Response to “Jackson’s First Annual Congressional Address (12.8.1829)”

  1. elsiegonzalez said

    I don’t even know why this is still surprising to me. The fact that this was an actual congressional address is horrifying. To explicitly admit to the exploitation of people who were rightfully here to begin with is shameless, and to say “doom… surely awaits them …” almost seems like something unthinkable to say, and yet America did!

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