Nice Day for a Genocide: Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders, Pt. 2

These quotes about Native Americans from famous American leaders, including Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt, span from 1823 to 1889.

These quotes about Indians from American leaders span from 1823 to 1889.

Check out Part 1 here.

Chief Justice John Marshall, Johnson and Graham’s Lessee v. William M’Intosh, 1823

“The tribes of Indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages, whose occupations was war, and whose subsistence was drawn chiefly from the forest… That law which regulates, and ought to regulate in general, the relations between the conqueror and conquered was incapable of application to a people under such circumstances… Discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or by conquest.”


Chief Justice John Marshall

President Andrew Jackson, in his fifth annual message, December 3, 1833

“They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.”


Andrew Jackson

General Philip Henry Sheridan, 1869

“The only good Indians I ever saw were dead."


General Philip Sheridan

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1887

“This language which is good enough for a white man or a black man ought to be good enough for the red man. It is also believed that teaching an Indian youth in his own barbarous dialect is a positive detriment to him. The impractibility, if not impossibility, of civilizing the Indians of this country in any other tongue than our own would seem obvious.”

Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I. 1889

“Nowadays we undoubtedly ought to break up the great Indian reservations, disregard the tribal governments, allot the land in severalty (with, however, only a limited power of alienation), and treat the Indians as we do other citizens, with certain exceptions, for their sakes as well as ours.”

Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I. 1889

“The settler and pioneer have at bottom had justice on their side; this great continent could not have been kept as nothing but a game preserve for squalid savages. Moreover, to the most oppressed Indian nations the whites often acted as a protection, or, at least, they deferred instead of hastening their fate.”


Theodore Roosevelt