Significance to the Jacksonian Era and the Young Republic

Cherokee Delegation to President Martin Van Buren

Indian Removal letter sent by the Cherokees to Martin Van Buren expressing great displeasure at the miscommunication, and breakdown of relations that the President mis-interpreted than onto the American people, to justify removal

There are a variety of wars, battles, conflicts, and overall misunderstandings that took place during the Jacksonian Era/the Young American Republic with Native Americans. Native americans can be said to be the original and rightful owners of the land that the new country and the Young Republic was being built upon, so it is important to note that that there is extreme relevancy in learning about the different Native American indian wars between the US, Texans, and the Natives. To understand why President Martin Van Buren - and Seretary of State to President Andrew Jackson - would say things like, "No man [Andrew Jackson] ever entered upon the execution of an official duty with purer motives, firmer purpose or better qualifications for its performance,” he wrote. “We were perhaps in the beginning unjustifiable aggressors” toward the Indians, but “we have become the guardians and, as we hope, the benefactors" (Indian Country Today). Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, and a myriad of other American leaders during this Young American Republic were driven by such sentiments, as Van Buren stated. They believed that their actions against the natives were pure, that they were justifiable, and that there was no "reluctance" on the part of natives to be moved to the west of the Mississippi. 

Native American Relations in Texas

Letter from President Andrew Jackson to Secretary of State Martin Van Buren, regarding the Indian Removal Act, and justifying the means to which they were carrying out the removal. ca. March 1835

This is what contemporary history classes say, there are but few mentions of the struggles and attempts the natives made to assimilate, to make peace, or to make things right or better with the white settlers and or the American government, but it fell on deaf ears. "In Jacksonian style, Van Buren clearly blamed the Seminole for the war, he justified the nation’s continued prosecution as necessary to maintain its authority over the Native Americans" (Indian Country Today) because it was the easy thing to do. This exhibit, and the corresponding pages with details into specific situations where the natives were not at fault, details how such broad statements by the President than, by Jackson before him, by Harrison after him as he, "skillfully and ruthlessly exploited intertribal rivalries and played Indian peoples against each other. With a mix of bribes and threats, he knowingly purchased land from Indians who had little claim to them, and then publicly denied such knowledge" (Indian Country Today). This exhibit will explore how the natives were pitted against eachother, and were misconstrued to the American public to justify the takeover of new lands by the American government.

Significance to the Jacksonian Era and the Young Republic