Two major issues during the Jackson administration were: Bankers co-opting the political system to gain power plus money & how to deal with the Indians east of the Mississippi River. Other important issues are also included in this book. President Jackson was an educated warrior to whom our country is indebted. No doubt he believed his actions as president were in the best interest of the United States but he also asked for forgiveness of any errors that he may have made as Chief Magistrate. There are plausible arguments that Native American Indians did not receive equal justice from our government under the Jackson administration and there are also plausible arguments that President Jackson's understanding of human nature was accurate about the class of people that seek to manipulate governments by controlling currency and that money manipulators would always be a danger to our liberty. Information about understanding the forces behind currency manipulation should always be associated with Andrew Jackson's name. We are doomed to fall victim to the never ending dark side of human nature unless we understand those that speak from the pages of American Patriot history books.
My fifth and Sixth grade teacher was Miss Mildred McGuire affectionately known as Molly McGuire. She not only taught us our 3 R’s, she taught life lessons. She did not believe in sparing the rod on the hands of those who did not heed her warnings. She was a strict teacher but former tough-guy students would come back and visit her class dressed in their military uniforms as a sign of affection.
We had a Native American in full head dress visit our class one day (around 1960). I do not remember how or why this visit came about but no doubt she thought her students needed to see and meet a proud Native American. Two things that she preached to her students were “There but for the grace of God go I” & that “There are 3 sides to every story. Your side, My Side and the Truth”.
Well a half century has passed and Miss McGuire is still fondly remembered for the wisdom she passed on to future generations. I have since learned to challenge her 3 sides to every story principle although I believe it to be correct a vast majority of the time it suffers the flaw of absolutism. It is possible that extraordinary people can overcome the innate tendency of human bias and actually tell the truth as it actually relates to reality. So in that rare case there would be two sides to a story, the biased opinion and the truth. What makes things even more complicated is that there is a continuum between bias and the truth when there are three sides to the story. The best we can humanely do is to search for truth and never be absolutely sure of any story to the point of absolute blind faith in the accuracy of third party information. Someone truly wise walks through life knowing it is not possible to never hold wrong opinions. As an American Patriot I know that it is possible that the laws of our nation have sometimes been applied in unjust ways.
I have my own bias opinions but hope I have an open mind and can change any poor opinion without blinking facts. Human nature being what it is I believe that Jackson’s mistrust of the bankers had merit as did the steps he took to try and check their power. Bankers still wield great power in shaping laws and determining elections as they have in the past. One only needs to read about President Jackson's battle with the action of those that controlled the banks in his day and the presidential election of 2009 to once again see bankers meddling in Presidential elections. Ask yourself if the banking crisis a few weeks before election day 2009 was based upon economic factors that needed immediate attention or on a desire of powerful money interest repeating what Jackson faced in his day and what he warned us about as an evil in his farewell address.
here are a few words from the very end of his farewell address:
In presenting to you, my fellow-citizens, these parting counsels, I have brought before you the leading principles upon which I endeavored to administer the Government in the high office with which you twice honored me. Knowing that the path of freedom is continually beset by enemies who often assume the disguise of friends, I have devoted the last hours of my public life to warn you of the dangers. The progress of the United States under our free and happy institutions has surpassed the most sanguine hopes of the founders of the Republic. Our growth has been rapid beyond all former example in numbers, in wealth, in knowledge, and all the useful arts which contribute to the comforts and convenience of man, and from the earliest ages of history to the present day there never have been thirteen millions of people associated in one political body who enjoyed so much freedom and happiness as the people of these United States. You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad; your strength and power are well known throughout the civilized world, as well as the high and gallant bearing of your sons. It is from within, among yourselves—from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power—that factions will be formed and liberty endangered. It is against such designs, whatever disguise the actors may assume, that you have especially to guard yourselves. You have the highest of human trusts committed to your care. Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race. May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and enable you, with pure hearts and pure hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to your keeping.
My own race is nearly run; advanced age and failing health warn me that before long I must pass beyond the reach of human events and cease to feel the vicissitudes of human affairs. I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love my country with the affection of a son. And filled with gratitude for your constant and unwavering kindness, I bid you a last and affectionate farewell.
Did we as a nation treat the American Indian’s justly? I will give you a story from the Indian perspective to try and balance the Jackson story told in this book. There are most likely 3 sides to this story but which is closer on the continuum to truth is for inquiring minds to explore.. Please take note that this first hand observation happened during the Van Buren Administration immediately after President Jackson retired but since the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was made law and mostly prosecuted under his administration President Jackson is more associated with the travesty that befell Native Americans.
The following quote is from "The Birthday Story of Private John G. Burnett, Captain Abraham McClellan's Company, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Mounted Infantry, Cherokee Indian Removal, 1838-39."
" One can never forget the sadness and solemnity of that morning. Chief John Ross led in prayer and when the bugle sounded and the wagons started rolling many of the children rose to their feet and waved their little hands good-by to their mountain homes, knowing they were leaving them forever. Many of these helpless people did not have blankets and many of them had been driven from home barefooted. The long painful journey to the west ended March 26th, 1839, with four-thousand silent graves reaching from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to what is known as Indian territory in the West. And covetousness on the part of the white race was the cause of all that the Cherokees had to suffer. The doom of the Cherokee was sealed. Washington, D.C., had decreed that they must be driven West and their lands given to the white man, and in May 1838, an army of 4000 regulars, and 3000 volunteer soldiers under command of General Winfield Scott, marched into the Indian country and wrote the blackest chapter on the pages of American history. Murder is murder, and somebody must answer. Somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country in the summer of 1838. Somebody must explain the 4000 silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile. I wish I could forget it all, but the picture of 645 wagons lumbering over the frozen ground with their cargo of suffering humanity still lingers in my memory. Let the historian of a future day tell the sad story with its sighs, its tears and dying groans. Let the great Judge of all the earth weigh our actions and reward us according to our work."
For more information search the following:
Indian Removal Act of 1830
The Trail of Tears
The Cherokee call the forced march to Oklahoma "Nunna daul Tsuny." That translates into English as "trail where they cried."