Native Village 
Youth and Education News

December 1, 2013

The Band of American Women Who Tried to Stop Andrew Jackson’s Native American Removal Policy
http://www.slate.com/
Condensed by Native Village



More than 60 women from Ohio signed this 1830 petition begging Congress to reconsider Andrew Jackson’s plan to remove southern Native Americans beyond the Mississippi. 

In the early 19th century, the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Choctaw nations stood in the way of white settlement in the South. President Andrew Jackson made their removal a major goal of his administration.

Jackson and his allies framed the issue as one of protection. They claimed the removal would reduce conflicts between white settlers and Native Americans. They wanted southern tribes to move west of the Mississippi River.

Lawmakers who opposed removal—including Henry Clay—were sympathetic to the Native Americans’ claim on the land. They were bolstered by the Christian press which argued that some of these tribes had taken up agriculture and Christianity in response to white teachings.

The fight against Jackson's Indian removal is the first time that American women became politically active on a national scale. They were empowered by the ideology of "republican motherhood" -- that women deserved a political voice because they were educators of sons and guardians of the moral code.

An 1830 petition signed by more than 60 women from Steubenville, Ohio pleased with Congress to reconsider Andrew Jackson’s removal policy. This “memorial” (another term for “petition”) was humble to the extreme.

The memorialists called themselves “the feeblest of the feeble.” They acknowledged that lawmakers might find such “presumptuous interference” to be “wholly unbecoming the character of American Females.” They also  begged readers to remember that American ladies enjoyed a “generous deference” unknown in other countries. Could not the senators and congressmen listen to the women’s plea for a “hapless people”?

While the campaigners deluged Congress with women’s petitions, the campaign ultimately failed. Many in Congress mocked anti-removalists for their inability to keep their ladies out of things.

The Indian Removal Act was passed and enforced. Some tribes signed treaties and left voluntarily. Others, including most of the Cherokee, were forcibly removed.

Many women involved in the petition drive, including Harriet Beecher (Stowe) and Angelina Grimké, later took up the abolitionist cause, where they found more success.


In 1830, more than 60 women from Steubenville, Ohio, signed a petition begging Congress to reconsider Andrew Jackson’s plan to remove southern Native Americans beyond the Mississippi.
The petition is now held in the National Archives

 


Native Village Home Page

Native Village © Gina Boltz
To receive email notices of Native Village updates, please send your email address to: NativeVillage500@aol.com
To contact us, email NativeVillage500@aol.com

 Backgrounds: www.robertkaufman.com

Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals,  friends, organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and talents to make Native Village possible
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and educational purposes only.
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.  Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country. NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website libraries and informational materials to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written in full by the credited author at the credited source link. We are responsible for format changes and additional photos, art, and graphics which boost visual appeal and add dimension to the reading experience. Pictures and graphics not appearing with the original article are either credited on the page or by right-clicking the picture. Some may be free or by sources unknown.
Please contact us with any copyright corrections so we may properly credit the source.
 We are not responsible for changes to outside websites and weblinks. Please notify us if any problems arise.