It is important to remember that presidents often give speeches, or messages, to Congress with updates about what has been happening in the nation. This excerpt is taken from a speech that President Andrew Jackson gave to Congress.
It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements, is approaching a happy consummation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress; and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes, also, to seek the same obvious advantages.
The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual States and to the Indians themselves. The pecuniary advantages which it promises to the Government are the pleasure of its recommendation. It puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the General and State Governments on account of the Indians. It will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters. By opening the whole territory between Tennessee on the north, and Louisiana on the south, to the settlement of the whites, it will incalculably strengthen the southwestern frontier, and render the adjacent States strong enough to repel future invasion without remote aid. It will relieve the whole State of Mississippi, and the western part of Alabama, of Indian occupancy, and enable those States to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free from them the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way, and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers; and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government, and through the influence of good counsels, to cast of their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.
Citation: President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’; 12/6/1830; Presidential Messages, 1789 – 1875; Records of the U.S. Senate, Record Group 46; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/jackson-indian-removal. Accessed 28 August 2023.
- What is the tone of the opening paragraph of the excerpt?
- Where are the native populations being moved to?
- What are at least 2 reasons that President Jackson gives for removing the native people?
Benevolent: well meaning and kindly
Consummation: the point at which something is complete or finalized
Pecuniary: relating to money
Incalculably: cannot be measured or calculated
Render: to cause or make something happen
Rude: without culture or learning
Retard: to slow growth