On this day 182 years ago President Andrew Jackson signed into law the Indian Removal Act. The legislation gave him the power to negotiate treaties with tribes living east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands to the west.
While the removal was supposed to be voluntary and peaceful, it was anything but for the tribes who didn’t agree to the terms and conditions the government set forth. The act led to the forceful removal of the Cherokees from their lands east of the Mississippi to present-day Oklahoma, also known as the Trail of Tears, during which more than 4,000 Cherokees walked on.
The Indian Removal Act also led to the Second Seminole War, which lasted from 1835 to 1842, and cost the Jackson administration $40 million to $60 million.