Andrew Jackson Has Got to Go

I recently discovered an online petition created by elementary school kids in Massachusetts to have Andrew Jackson removed from the $20 bill.  This is something that I’ve been saying would be a very good idea, ever since I learned about the instrumental part the 7th US president played in the Removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from our ancestral homelands in what is now the Southeastern part of the United States.

On May 28, 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson. One of the Holocaust Butterflies I made in 2013 is of printed excerpts from Jackson’s 2nd Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1830 in which he outlines the Indian Removal Act, and images from the £20 bill.

Andrew Jackson butterfly 8" x 10" , printed on lokta paper.

Andrew Jackson butterfly
8″ x 10″ , printed on lokta paper.

And is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to leave the graves of his fathers than it is to our brothers and children? Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the States and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or perhaps utter annihilation, the General Government kindly offers him a new home, and proposes to pay the whole expense of his removal and settlement.
– Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson butterfly - detail

Andrew Jackson butterfly – detail

 

I’ve heard this idea  expressed many times in First Nations social media, but this is the first time from a more mainstream source.  I love the spirit and conviction of these young people.   Maybe what we really need is stalwart voices saying, ‘This is wrong and this is what to do about it!’

Sign the petition here

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