The Indian Removal Act Is Passed

Indian Removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to remove Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river.

The Indian Removal Act, part of a United States government policy known as Indian removal, was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson (D) on May 26, 1830.

The age of Manifest Destiny, which came to be known as "Indian Removal", gained ground. Although some humanitarian advocates of removal believed that Native Americans would be better off moving away from whites, an increasing number of Americans regarded the natives as nothing more than "savages" who stood in the way of American expansion. Thomas Jefferson believed that while Native Americans were the intellectual equals of whites, they had to live like the whites or inevitably be pushed aside by them. Jefferson's belief, rooted in Enlightenment thinking, that whites and Native Americans would merge to create a single nation did not last, and he began to believe that the natives should emigrate across the Mississippi River and maintain a separate society.

What a prodigious growth this English race, especially the American branch of it, is having! How soon will it subdue and occupy all the wild parts of this continent and of the islands adjacent. No prophecy, however seemingly extravagant, as to future achievements in this way [is] likely to equal the reality.”

— Rutherford Birchard Hayes, U.S. President, January 1, 1857, Personal Diary.