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Jacksonland
Cover of Jacksonland
Jacksonland
President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Gr ab
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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.” 

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.” 

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    8 - 10

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Excerpts-
  • From the cover Prologue:
    The Indian Map and the White Man's Map

    This story follows two men who fought for more than twenty years. They fought over land in the American South, which is where they lived, though some said it wasn't big enough for the two of them.

    One man was Andrew Jackson, who became a general, then president, then the man on the twenty- dollar bill. Those honors merely hint at the scale of his outsize life. The other man was John Ross, who was Native American, or Indian as natives were called. He became principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, though this title, too, fails to capture his full experience.

    Before he was chief, and before he met Jackson, Ross was a young man navigating his complex and perilous world. That is how we first encounter him. At the age of twenty-two,he bought a boat. It was a wooden flatboat, essentially a raft with some housing on the deck. And on that boat, near the end of 1812, he set out on the Tennessee River. Starting somewhere around the site of present-day Chattanooga, the boat and its crew floated westward with the current, a speck on the water, dwarfed by riverside cliffs that marked the river's passage through the Appalachians.

    Ross was traveling several hundred miles, toward a band of Cherokees living west of the Mississippi. He intended to sell them the cargo on his boat: calico, gingham, buttons, beaver traps, and shotguns. But the westward course of the Tennessee River had a way of testing travelers. Ross struggled to navigate currents so perilous that they had ominous names such as Dead Man's Eddy and the Suck. He grew so frustrated after days on the water that he stopped at a riverside settlement to sell his boat, trading for a keelboat that was narrower and more maneuverable. His crew heaved their cargo from one boat to the other. Then Ross and crew crashed through forty miles of whitewater known as Muscle Shoals, scraping on shallows and passing islands piled with driftwood. At last the water calmed, and the boat followed the river's great bend northward toward the Ohio.

    Anyone covertly studying the boat would have seen four men on board. Ross was black-haired, brown-eyed, slight but handsome. Each of his three companions could be described in a phrase (a Cherokee interpreter, an older Cherokee man named Kalsatee, and a servant), but Ross was harder to categorize. He was the son of a Scottish trader, whose family had lived among Cherokees for generations in their homeland in the southern Appalachians. Ross was an aspiring trader himself. Yet he also had a solid claim to his identity as an Indian. A man of mixed race, he had grown up among Cherokee children and, in keeping with Cherokee custom, received a new name at adulthood: Kooweskoowe, said to be a species of bird.

    Whether he was a white man or an Indian became a matter of life and death on December 28, 1812. In Kentucky, as Ross later recorded in a letter, "we was haled by a party of white men." The men on the riverbank called for the boat to come closer.

    Ross asked what they wanted.

    Give us the news, one called back.

    Something bothered Ross about the men. "I told them we had no news worth their attention."

    Now the white men revealed their true purpose. One shouted that they had orders from a garrison of soldiers nearby "to stop every boat descending the river to examine if any Indians was on board as they were not permitted to come about that place." Come to us, the men concluded. Or we'll come to you.

    Ross didn't come.

    "Damn my soul if those two are not Indians," one of the men shouted, referring to two of Ross's crew. The man added that he would gather a company of...
About the Author-
  • STEVE INSKEEP is a cohost of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. His investigative journalism has received an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. He is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi. @NPRinskeep
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine As an NPR journalist, Steve Inskeep must craft stories in a way that allows listeners to see his subjects in their minds. In addition, when he delivers each story on the air, he has to be able to carry it along in a way that keeps listeners from tuning out. He brings both of these skills to bear in his history of Andrew Jackson's land acquisition in what was then the western United States as well as Jackson's relationship with the Native American peoples who lived there. Inskeep varies his voice the way a good storyteller should, with appropriate emphasis or lightness in the right places. For direct quotes, his slight pauses make it clear which are the speaker's words and which are the author's. R.C.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Jacksonland
Jacksonland
President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Gr ab
Steve Inskeep
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