Recently, CNN reporter Coyote Spritzer travelled back in time to visit former President Jackson at his home, The Hermitage, in Tennessee.
Coyote Spritzer: Mr. President, you said you have experience removing large numbers of people, and could advise Republican candidate Donald Trump on how to do it. I’m referring, of course, to the Indian Removal Act that you signed in 1830, which led to the “Trail of Tears.”
The Trail of Tears
President Jackson: Trail of Tears? That’s what the media calls it. Believe me, there were no tears. I saved the Cherokee by removing them. A tremendous number of Americans were crossing the Appalachians. They were coming like a colony of red ants. They needed a place to live. Many people wrote to me and said, hey Andrew, you have to get rid of those Indians. I was humane. I made them leave or the settlers would have killed them. That I can tell you. Believe me. I support Mr. Trump’s plan to get rid of illegal Mexicans.
Coyote Spritzer: But many Cherokee died on the way to Oklahoma. Do you feel bad about that?
President Jackson: Listen. More would have died if they stayed. Besides, nobody liked the Cherokee. That I can tell you. Go talk to the Choctaw Indians. They hate the Cherokee. They tell me the women are fat and the men are lazy and just go around smoking tobacco.
Coyote Spritzer: But it was their home. They had a sophisticated government and a written language. They were one of the five “civilized” tribes.
President Jackson: Gimme a break. They wrote a few words down on parchment. Listen. They were going around banging on drums and sending up smoke signals. Civilized? Plus, you go to the Indian country now. Oklahoma? Where the hell did that name come from? You talk to the Cherokee. They all love me. Many of them write to me and tell me how happy they are that I removed their ancestors.
Coyote Spritzer: So tell me what advice you would give Mr. Trump about his plan to remove more than eleven million illegal aliens from the United States?
President Jackson: It’s simple. You get an army together and you get them the hell out of here! I know more than the generals do on how to do this. Believe me. Those Mexicans have to go. That I can tell you.
Coyote Spritzer: But you were a general, Mr. President, and you tried to get the Seminole Indians in Florida to leave as well. What happened?
President Jackson: You can’t blame me for that! You know that the Spanish owned Florida first, right? They pampered those Indians and made them feel like they belonged there. Many people in Florida wrote to me saying get these Indians out of here! They’re thieves and rapists and they kill all the birds to make headdresses.
Coyote Spritzer: So why weren’t you successful in removing them?
President Jackson: Are you kidding me? You ever been to Florida? They ran into the goddamn swamp. It’s all swamps down there. White people hate swamps. They wouldn’t live there. So I said, fine. Let the Indians live with the alligators and mosquitos. I’ll tell you what. Go there today and talk to the Seminole. They love me down there. They actually come and put flowers on my grave here at the Hermitage. That I can tell you.
Coyote Spritzer: So you think if Mr. Trump wins, he can successfully remove all those people?
President Jackson: If he takes my advice. Of course, I won’t get any credit for it. I still haven’t gotten enough credit for all the Indians I got rid of. Believe me.
Coyote Spritzer: But you’re dead Mr. President! Why do you want credit?
President Jackson: What does that have to do with it? I still want the credit!
Tribes subjected to Removal