Now that a certain beautiful Minneapolis Lake has been officially assigned a second name (Bde Maka Ska, which was its name long ago), a friend urged me to alert MinnPost readers to the perhaps-apocryphal-but-oft-quoted remark of President Andrew Jackson that “I have only two regrets: I didn’t shoot Henry Clay and I didn’t hang John C. Calhoun.”
Calhoun was Jackson’s vice president during his first term in the White House (although Calhoun resigned before the term ended and was replaced by Martin Van Buren).
Jackson thought those — the most prominent of whom was Calhoun — who advocated for the doctrine of “nullification” (that each state had the power to disregard, within its borders, federal laws with which the state disagreed) were traitors to the spirit and meaning of the Constitution.
Although it doesn’t seem to be attributed to a specific time and place when he said it, the “only two regrets” remark is often quoted, here, for example.
As far as showing respect for Native Americans, Jackson’s record couldn’t be much worse.