Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men—President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross—who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history. Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonland is their story. 

One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson—war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South—whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross—a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat—who used the United States’ own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson. Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers—cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school—Ross championed the tribes’ cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics. 

At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies’ conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres—“Jacksonland”—in today’s Deep South. 

Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives. 

Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep’s Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men. 

CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt
“Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross’s epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago.” 

Title:Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781594205569
Format Type:

    Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab Reviews

  • Clif Hostetler

    This is non-fiction history about the decades-long saga of politics, legal maneuvering, and greed that concluded in the grand tragedy of the expulsion of the Cherokee Nation from Georgia in 1838, comm...

  • Jill

    It is ironic that Andrew Jackson, a murderer, kidnapper, slave owner, slave trader, land speculator acting on inside information, and last but not least, the cruel architect of Indian genocide, should...

  • Louise

    This is the early 19th century history of the Cherokee Nation, the original owners in residence of the land the author, Steve Inskeep, calls “Jacksonland”.While treaties confirmed by federal polic...

  • Regina

    It's a fascinating history. I still can't see Jackson as anything other than a complete ass....

  • Wayland Smith

    This post might get a bit political. It also deals with a few issues many Americans prefer not to think about too much. If either of those bother you, you may wish to skip this. The history of the Ame...

  • marcus miller

    As I read this I wish I could have sat and listened to Inskeep talk with Brett Riggs, Tom Belt, and Andrew Denson, men who gave input at an NEH seminar on the Cherokee I was able to attend last year. ...

  • Mary

    Jacksonland is well written and supported by excellent research. History unfolds in this work to document Andrew Jackson's desire to remove the Indians (Cherokee, Creek, and Seminoles) from their trad...

  • Paul Womack

    The best review of this marvelous book is the author's last paragraph: "This book has been a joy to write, even though it tells a difficult story. It is about my country, which makes it a love story. ...

  • Scott

    Andrew Jackson may be getting a bit of a revival thanks to President Trump's hamfisted attempts to draw parallels between himself and Old Hickory. Before making this effort, President Trump would have...

  • Sarah Holz

    For a relatively compact nonfiction work, I found a distracting lack of focus at times. Inskeep set out for himself an ambitious but laudable goal of essentially writing a joint biography of Andrew Ja...