May 28 - 1830 - The Indian Removal Act is Signed Into Law
Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act with the intention of doing just what the act's name described. Specifically, Jackson and his allies sought to move the "Five Civilized Tribes"--the Cherokee, the Choctaw, the Creek, the Chickasaw, and the Seminole--off of their lands in the Southeast where white settlers wanted to move. The actual text of the law said the President would be able to negotiate with tribes to forge treaties that exchanged land currently held by each tribe for land in newly formed Indian Territory. In reality, the treaties would largely be signed by trickery, coercion, or just on unequal terms the U.S. Government had no intention of keeping. The process of Indian removal began quickly. Even two Supreme Court cases brought by the Cherokee Nation could not stop Andrew Jackson from removing Indian tribes just like the act said he could, as Jackson ignored the Supreme Court's pronouncements. The actual removal of all the tribes would become known as "The Trail of Tears," as the forced nature of the removal led to widespread disease and death before the groups made it to Indian Territory.