Remember Fort Mims
Hard to imagine?
This past weekend, PBS presented a biography of the President that most only know from the picture we carry in our wallets: Andrew Jackson. I could only stomach an hour of the show. It was carefully crafted to vilify Jackson. The historians who damned him cited those events that furthered their case. The historians who praised him were only allowed to state generalities without presenting the detailed evidence. This made it appear that evidence supported Jackson’s critics.
The most egregious example was the defeat of the Red Stick Creeks in what was the greatest slaughter of Indian warriors in American history. No mention was made of the terrorist atrocity at Fort Mims that outraged our nation and led to Jackson’s military expedition. It was portrayed as a land grab to further slavery.
When I wrote “Remember Fort Mims” last spring, I was struck by deliberate attempts to hide this important event in our history. It is necessitated by the narrative that damns our country, damns its expansion, and damns the achievement of creating a great nation. The need to celebrate our achievement must always balance by the need to learn from our mistakes. But that requires setting matters in their proper context and applying proper standards of proportion. Justice requires it.
It is from history that we derive the principles we need to understand the present and face the dangers to our republic. The lessons taught by today’s academics undermine our resolve and leave us hopeless. We must reclaim history. Survival requires it.