Where is Bill Haslam’s Witch Child?!

Politics was so much more entertaining back in the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “let’s make fun of all the people who are descended from Indian princesses” bout as much as the next person. But I do think there’s something about this dynamic I just don’t get. Indian killers with Indian children. How was that circle squared for them, exactly? I mean, even Jackson had Lyncoya.

I understand this period mostly by understanding it as a series of assaults by “us” against a well-defined “them.” But I get the feeling the boundaries were much fuzzier.

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3 thoughts on “Where is Bill Haslam’s Witch Child?!

  1. Jackson was a paternalist. He loved Indians…provided they did everything he wanted them to, when he wanted them to, and provided that they remembered their appropriate place in the racial hierarchy. Being the paternal figure to an Indian ward (and making sure that he was educated in a useful manual trade…) fits right into that.

    I know that there’s a “oh, but he wanted to send him to West Point, but political circumstances made that impossible…yada yada…” Please. He was the Hero of New Orleans and freakin’ president at a time of ascending presidential power. I’m not buying it that Jackson somehow had his hands tied by vague historical forces beyond his control. He chose to apprentice him to a saddlemaker because he thought that was a good steady job for people like free blacks and “civilized” Indians.

  2. Bridgett, that’s really helpful to me. Thanks. That mindset of “if everything is in its place, I can relax and be generous and loving” makes sense of a lot of American history for me.

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