Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson, a past US president, had long been an advocate of what he called “Indian removal.” In 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act, which gave the federal government the power to exchange Native-held land in Mississippi for land to the west, in the “Indian colonization zone” that the United States had acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase. President Jackson and his government ignored the letter of the law and forced Native Americans to vacate lands, their homes, they had lived on for generations. Thousands of people died along the way. It was, one Choctaw leader told an Alabama newspaper, a “trail of tears and death.”