Andrew Jackson
Highest Number of Slaves Owned: 200

Andrew Jackson In a letter to President James Monroe in September of 1819, Andrew Jackson referred to the international slave trade as "inhuman and illegal traffic." Yet Jackson owned a mercantile business that engaged in the domestic slave trade, at times accepting slaves in exchange for dry goods, using them to pay off debts, or mortgaging them for loans.

Here are sample excerpts from letters sent to Jackson by his slave buyers:

Jan. 30, 1820: "Since my arrival here I have purchased five fellows for you ... Ned at $450, Tom $455, Argyle $450, Titus $460, and Ned $475. Some of them are better bargains than others: but I dont consider any of them bad ones."

Apr. 4, 1831:

"I have not been able to purchase to my satisfaction the two boys and Negroe girls for your son .... The Negroes of Irby's estate sold at enormous prices, 36 sold for $10,114 00/100 and were mostly the inferior Negroes."

In perhaps his most shocking action on behalf of slavery, Jackson wrote a letter to the Postmaster General on August 9, 1835, suggesting that antislavery tracts "be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers; and in every instance the Postmaster ought to take the names down, and have them exposed thro the publik journals as subscribers to this wicked plan of exciting the negroes."

John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren