Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Our $20 Dollar Bill


During the campaign, Trump called the decision made by President Obama's Treasury Department to have Harriet Tubman replace Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill: "pure political correctness."  

On his fifth day in office, President Trump honored our seventh president's image by elevating Andrew Jackson’s portrait to a place in the Oval Office.  Then, he flew south to Nashville, Tennessee where he visited the Hermitage, Jackson's home, and placed a wreath at his tomb.  At that ceremony Trump announced: "It was during the revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite -- does that sound familiar to you?  I wonder why they keep talking about Trump and Jackson, and Jackson and Trump."
President Jackson pushed Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act, and signed it into law in 1830.  He actually overruled the Supreme Court, and by 1840, Native communities had almost been almost entirely wiped out in the American Southeast. 

The forcible relocation of Native Americans, became known as the Trail of Tears.  It included members of the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw nations, from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma).  Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while enroute to their destinations, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee nation.  The Trail of Tears is considered by many historians as one of the most shameful moments in American history.

Andrew Jackson personally killed many people in duels, and as a soldier, ordered his men to kill women and children when they raided Indian camps.  He supported slavery, and at the end of his life, he said that he had but two regrets.  He regretted, that he had been unable to shoot a former Secretary of State and Senator Henry Clay, or hang a former Vice President, and Senator John C. Calhoun. 

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