The architect of the Indian Removal Act

Andrew Jackson was our seventh president and a forceful proponent of Indian removal. From treaties to battles, Jackson was determined to remove Indians from their homeland. Jackson served as a major general in the War of 1812. He became a national hero after defeating the British in the Battle of New Orleans.

Nicknamed "Old Hickory" for his toughness and aggressive personality, Jackson wasn't keen to make friends. Early in his presidency, Jackson was eager to push for a new piece of legislation known as the "Indian Removal Act." This gave the president more power to negotiate treaties with Native Americans in different territories than originally stipulated. In form, it was supposed to be a voluntary removal, with peaceful intentions. But when the southeastern tribes resisted, Jackson forced them to leave.

President Jackson's attitude toward Native Americans didn't make the situation any easier. He thought of them as children and was patronizing towards the Indians. The Chickasaws, peaceful in their nature, signed a treaty in 1832, trying to avoid confrontation. However, the tribe was not guaranteed anything in the treaty, and they ended up paying fees to different tribal nations to live on other lands.