Andrew Jackson's First Annual Message To Congress
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Jackson's presidency was his policy regarding American Indians.
Jackson was a leading advocate of a policy known as Indian removal, which involved the ethnic cleansing of several Indian tribes. In his December 8, 1829 First Annual Message to Congress, Jackson stated:
This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry.”— Andrew Jackson