~READ EBOOK ☣ Jacksonland ♬ Jacksonland Is The Thrilling Narrative History Of Two Men President Andrew Jackson And Cherokee Chief John Ross Who Led Their Respective Nations At A Crossroads Of American History Five Decades After The Revolutionary War, The United States Approached A Constitutional Crisis At Its Center Stood Two Former Military Comrades Locked In A Struggle That Tested The Boundaries Of Our Fledgling Democracy Jacksonland Is Their Story One Man We Recognize Andrew Jackson War Hero, Populist, And Exemplar Of The Expanding South Whose First Major Initiative As President Instigated The Massive Expulsion Of Native Americans Known As The Trail Of Tears The Other Is A Half Forgotten Figure John Ross A Mixed Race Cherokee Politician And Diplomat Who Used The United States Own Legal System And Democratic Ideals To Oppose Jackson Representing One Of The Five Civilized Tribes Who Had Adopted The Ways Of White Settlers Cultivating Farms, Publishing A Newspaper In Their Own Language, And Sending Children To School Ross Championed The Tribes Cause All The Way To The Supreme Court He Gained Allies Like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, And Even Davy Crockett In A Fight That Seems At Once Distant And Familiar, Ross And His Allies Made Their Case In The Media, Committed Civil Disobedience, And Benefited From The First Mass Political Action By American Women Their Struggle Contained Ominous Overtures Of Later Events Like The Civil War And Set The Pattern For Modern Day Politics At Stake In This Struggle Was The Land Of The Five Civilized Tribes In Shocking Detail, Jacksonland Reveals How Jackson, As A General, Extracted Immense Wealth From His Own Armies Conquest Of Native Lands Later, As President, Jackson Set In Motion The Seizure Of Tens Of Millions Of Acres Jacksonland In Today S Deep South Jacksonland Is The Work Of Renowned Journalist Steve Inskeep, Cohost Of NPR S Morning Edition, Who Offers Here A Heart Stopping Narrative Masterpiece, A Tragedy Of American History That Feels Ripped From The Headlines In Its Immediacy, Drama, And Relevance To Our Lives Harrowing, Inspiring, And Deeply Moving, Inskeep S Jacksonland Is The Story Of America At A Moment Of Transition, When The Fate Of States And Nations Was Decided By The Actions Of Two Heroic Yet Tragically Opposed Men CANDICE MILLARD, Author Of Destiny Of The Republic And The River Of Doubt Inskeep Tells This, One Of The Most Tragic And Transformative Stories In American History, In Swift, Confident, Colorful Strokes So Well, And So Intimately, Does He Know His Subject That The Reader Comes Away Feeling As If Jackson And Ross S Epic Struggle For The Future Of Their Nations Took Place Yesterday Rather Than Nearly Two Hundred Years Ago
This post might get a bit political It also deals with a few issues many Americans prefer not to think about too much If either of those bother you, you may wish to skip this The history of the American government dealing with Indians yeah, I don t use Native American, sue me is a long ugly tale of lies, betrayal, and unfair practices at best One of the worst examples of this was Andrew Jackson, a President who many compare with Donald Trump That s troubling on many levels Jackson was a war hero, serving in the war of 1812 His biggest victory was the Battle of New Orleans, interesting for many reasons, including the fact that it was fought after the war was technically over word hadn t reached either side that far south Jackson served in many interior campaigns within the US, and many of his early battles were fought with the Cherokee by his side Once he got into office, Jackson turned on his former allies, displaying attitudes that, at best, were racial and prejudiced He became the only sitting American President to defy the Supreme Court when they ruled against him on the matter of forcibly removing the Cherokee from their home territory He also, purely by coincidence I m sure, managed to keep positioning himself to profit from the land he was instrumental in taking from the various tribes He built a personal fortune by turning on his former allies, and interpreting laws and legal decisions in the way that was most profitable and or convenient to him and his friends If you have any sense of justice, reading the actual history of these events should make you mad The Federal government had a duty to protect the Cherokee and other tribes, or at the very least to honor the treaties they signed They did neither It s a disgraceful era of American history that still has echoes in the modern day Jackson s general attitude seems very similar to Trump s on many levels If nothing else, knowing Jackson s history makes it even of an insult that Trump, when honoring World War II Codetalkers, did so from under a portrait of the man that arguably most responsible for the greatest loss of Indian lands Recommended to students of American History, those with an interest in Indians, and people willing to take a hard look at history, not the rosy, cheery version often taught in public schools. This is the early 19th century history of the Cherokee Nation, the original owners in residence of the land the author, Steve Inskeep, calls Jacksonland.While treaties confirmed by federal policy guaranteed the Cherokees rights and land, President Andrew Jackson found every excuse to procrastinate when it came to enforcement Speaking of the humanitarianism and the welfare of the Indian people, President Jackson worked to free their lands for federal distribution.Inskeep shows how prior to his presidency Jackson s self dealing worked to pioneer federal land policy As the leader of a Tennessee militia Jackson removed Indians from lands which he later arranged to purchase or otherwise acquire Inskeep also shows how the Cherokee, who helped in the removal of the Creek and fought with the US against the British in the War of 1812, were forced into a position where they had to bargain to keep what little they had Each bargaining session ended in further erosion of their position.The portrait of John Ross, who, with 1 8 Cherokee blood, led his people legally and politically is outstanding Other interesting people appear such as Catherine Beecher, sister to the famous Harriet and Henry the Cherokee Phoenix editor, Elias Boudinot Jeremiah Evarts who for religious reasons supported rights for Indians and Major Ridge and his son who like John Ross were Cherokee advocates, and depending on how you interpret events, profiteers.You learn of the rivalry between Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson and how John Quincy Adams, who while sympathetic to the Indians, whom he entertained in his home, did not help them, and John Marshall who stepped out of his role to advise You glimpse Layfayette and deToqueville who tour the US at this time There is something of Davy Crockett and Jackson s war on the US bank.The end is not as good as the beginning Only a few pages cover the aftermath Inskeep goes from the flight of the Cherokee to the hyper development Disneyland being emblematic of Jacksonland , the land essentially created by Jackson s tactics and policies He notes the multi multiculturalism and the use of Indian terms i,e Arrowhead Motel I would have liked about contemporary life on the new Cherokee lands particularly Oklahoma, not just that there is a casino.The book raised my awareness on how these lands were taken from the Cherokee and Andrew Jackson s leadership role I have never understood the laurels given this president i.e so many cities, counties and schools named for him and despite his distrust of currency, his picture on the 20 bill Now I understand it even less. It s a fascinating history I still can t see Jackson as anything other than a complete ass. Jacksonland is well written and supported by excellent research History unfolds in this work to document Andrew Jackson s desire to remove the Indians Cherokee, Creek, and Seminoles from their traditional homelands and moved farther west He did this, in part, for personal gain I was surprised by the fact of his personal enrichment And not only for himself but for his friends as well Jackson bullied, lied, deceived, and used force to accomplish his goal He ignored the U.S Supreme Court s ruling with regard to the Cherokees Bravo Justice Marshall for fairness and apt application of the law Inskeep s even handed reporting doesn t just paint Jackson as a villain but shows him as a President that held the union together during a difficult time John Ross was someone that I had never heard of before reading this book His leadership as principal chief of the Cherokees during this crucial time is remarkable His political acumen and continuing search for justice for his people shows him to be a self sacrificing and honorable individual History lovers will certainly enjoy this book as well as non history buffs. As I read this I wish I could have sat and listened to Inskeep talk with Brett Riggs, Tom Belt, and Andrew Denson, men who gave input at an NEH seminar on the Cherokee I was able to attend last year Inskeep examines the events leading to the removal of the Cherokee by exploring the two key personalities involved, Andrew Jackson and John Ross The two shared similarities, Scotch Irish backgrounds, views of progress and democracy, yet there were also differences, chief among them, Ross s Cherokee ancestry Inskeep describes the many complexities of the two men s personalities and politics For example,the blending of political decisions which may help one s financial situation.Inskeep shares how the Cherokee chose a path of civil obedience calling the U.S government to live up to its founding documents, laws, and treaties as the Cherokee worked for the right to stay in their ancestral homes The efforts of Ross and others in support of the Cherokee influence both the anti slavery movement and the women s movement Strategies employed by the Cherokee were later used in the Civil Rights movement and other minority groups in the U.S Those wanting to remove Jackson s image from the twenty dollar bill will find evidence of why that should happen Demanding, stubborn, Jackson comes across as a bully willing to do anything to rid the southeastern U.S of Indians,I appreciated Inskeep s occasional comments relating events surrounding the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminoles with current events For example the tendency of government officials to underestimate the support a man like Ross had among average Cherokees to the assumption that few Iraqis supported Saddam Hussein, or that the Seminole war lasted longer than the Vietnam War and in modern terms was just as costly This is a readable and thought provoking book about a tragic chapter in American history. The best review of this marvelous book is the author s last paragraph This book has been a joy to write, even though it tells a difficult story It is about my country, which makes it a love story Of the many ways to show one s love, one of the best is to tell the truth The book was hard to read, because it is a difficult story, but I so appreciate the truth in the telling. Andrew Jackson may be getting a bit of a revival thanks to President Trump s hamfisted attempts to draw parallels between himself and Old Hickory Before making this effort, President Trump would have been well advised to have read Steve Inskeep s Jacksonland, Inskeep s fascinating review of President Jackson s fight to clear millions of acres of land in the American south for safe American settlement.That anodyne statement glosses over the fact that, in order to make the land safe for settlement, Jackson had to sweep aside native tribes who had lives on the land for centuries And Jackson did so by hook, by crook, and other means covering a dizzying range of tools at his disposal.All in all, President Jackson may be on the Mt Rush of Complicated Presidents While Inskeep s book does not explore all the nuances of Jackson s presidency, Jackson s role in the Great American Land Grab was pivotal and, depending on your perspective, either a nightmare or a triumph Jackson s defenders will observe that by clearing the South for American settlement, Jackson secured a vital region of our country that would have otherwise ended up in British or Spanish hands Jackson s critics correctly observe that, regardless of the motive, Jackson s treatment of the local tribes was inhumane, deceitful, and a stain on American honor.It is this complexity that has caused most modern Presidents to look elsewhere for their inspiration even though Jackson s many achievements exceed many of the other members of the presidential fraternity Perhaps if Trump and his acolytes understood this better, they might have thought carefully before hanging Jackson s portrait in the Oval Office.Thanks to Inskeep s wonderful book written with great humor and reflecting extensive research anyone who wishes to can get an entertaining and informative understanding of our flawed but noteworthy Old Hickory This book makes a great companion piece to Jon Meacham s American Lion, which offers a comprehensive look at the President. It is ironic that Andrew Jackson, a murderer, kidnapper, slave owner, slave trader, land speculator acting on inside information, and last but not least, the cruel architect of Indian genocide, should hold such a revered place in the pantheon of American presidents so much so, that when the question arose of who s image to replace on money, it was the image of Hamilton that garnered the most attention Ironic as well, since it was Jackson who was obsessively opposed to a federal bank, vetoing a bill to recharter the Bank of the United States, which led to an economic depression, and Hamilton, a fiscal genius, who championed the idea As much as Americans have been shocked or disappointed over the behavior of some of our recent presidents, their actions are minor peccadillos compared to the abhorrent and morally horrific activities of Andrew Jackson.Steve Inskeep, a cohost of NPR s Morning Edition, and someone who has received multiple awards for investigative journalism, tells Jackson s story, juxtaposing it to the story of the leader of the Cherokee people, John Ross It is not hard for Ross to come off looking better It was truly difficult to listen to all the outrages committed by Jackson, and against the Native American people, and yet it is essential to understand this part of American history.Evaluation If you only read one nonfiction book this year, I hope you will make it this one It is critically important that Americans understand what kind of man Andrew Jackson really was, and what was done to the Native Americans who occupied the land he coveted It is an outstanding book, and a pleasure to experience via audio.A Few Notes on the Audio Production It s almost unfair to compare other narrators to the cohost of one of the most widely heard radio news programs in the United States Inskeep knows how to read for the ear and his impassioned narration hits all the right notes. For a relatively compact nonfiction work, I found a distracting lack of focus at times Inskeep set out for himself an ambitious but laudable goal of essentially writing a joint biography of Andrew Jackson and John Ross, though I didn t feel I left the narrative knowing a great deal about either men For Ross that might be a dearth of source material, but even Jackson didn t feel particularly fleshed out Part of this is due to digressions to follow the paths of other people involved in the events I can give a pass to short stops with people directly connected John Marshall, Catharine Beecher, etc , but far too much time is devoted to the reunion tour of Lafayette, which was a huge digression And I am saying that as a person who loves Lafayette I understand Inskeep was using the Revolutionary general as a conduit to talk about the state of the US at the time, but it took too long and had little to do with the story at hand It was jarring enough that when I later came to a section entitled Democracy in America, I actually said aloud, Oh no Now we re going to have to follow Tocqueville around And that is coming from someone who gave Democracy in America five stars on Goodreads and begs other people to read it Oh my gosh, you have to read it We did have to follow Tocqueville around, though for less time than Lafayette All of the digressions take up so much time and space I felt like the actual result of Ross and Jackson s sparring, the horrific Trail of Tears, was tacked on as an afterthought in part of the last thirty pages.This is not a bad book and those who are unfamiliar with the history will still learn something, though I think the book would benefit from being either 1 longer then I would have loved all of the esoteric digressions , or 2 much focused.