He won the top spot on our worst U.S. presidents list and on September 10 Cracked.com featured a video titled “Andrew Jackson: Most Terrifying Man Ever Elected President,” which was certainly true for Native Americans. He earned nicknames like “Indian killer” and “Sharp Knife” and was a proponent of Indian removal.
The video describes the number of duels Jackson took part in—anywhere from 13 to in the hundreds—and talks about his other nickname, “Old Hickory,” which Cracked says is because of the hickory cane he carried. Other sources say he earned the nickname because of his toughness, which the video demonstrates.
The seventh president of the United States, who graces our $20 bills, earned his “Sharp Knife” nickname from the Cherokee according to Amargi who wrote an article on the website Unsettling America: Decolonization in Theory & Practice.
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“He was also the founder of the Democratic Party, demonstrating that genocide against indigenous people is a nonpartisan issue,” Amargi wrote. “His first effort at Indian fighting was waging a war against the Creeks. President Jefferson had appointed him to appropriate Creek and Cherokee lands. In his brutal military campaigns against Indians, Andrew Jackson recommended that troops systematically kill Indian women and children after massacres in order to complete the extermination. The Creeks lost 23 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central Alabama, paving the way for cotton plantation slavery. His frontier warfare and subsequent ‘negotiations’ opened up much of the southeast U.S. to settler colonialism.”
Watch the Cracked.com video here.