Finding Aid: John Ross Papers

Institution: Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
Language of Material: English
Description: 11 feet  
Period covered: 1797 - 1897 
Subject matter: John Ross (1790-1866) chief of the First Indian Republic, was principal chief of the Cherokees during the time of the Removal, establishment of the Cherokee Nation, and until his death. During the Civil War he split with the Cherokees who favored the Southern cause and ruled in exile after 1863 from Philadelphia.
The collection contains correspondence, proclamation as chief of the Cherokee Tribe, legal papers, records, accounts, lists of names, and rations allocated  during removal from Tennessee to Indian Territory, official and other papers of the Cherokee Council, petitions and protests to Congress, and  papers relating to the East and West Cherokee controversy and the Civil War.
Interesting items: A number of papers relate to the various detachments, or groups, of Cherokees being removed from their homes in the East. One such paper is the Muster Roll of Captain John Benge's Detachment of Emigrating Cherokees. Another document records expenditures of one detachment,  the costs for which the U.S.  Government  promised  reimbursement.

Background: Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s. The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Extent: 11 feet

Restrictions: Please, contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.
http://gilcrease.utulsa.edu/Visit/During-Your-Visit/Policies/Reproduction-Policy

Availability: This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). Contact the Library at 918-631-6441 or renee-harvey@utulsa.edu in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Arrangement Title Description Date
Untitled (3696.147)
Letter from James W. McClung

Letter from James W. McClung in Ashville to Chief John Ross reporting success in case in St. Clair County resulting in discharge of prisoner and proposing a fee of $1000. Also refers to Tassells. Also asks for $100 for Mathew W. Linder, who assisted on the case. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 85

September 26, 1833
Resolution of Council

Resolution of Council regarding harboring white persons who are guilty of a crime in the Cherokee Nation. (OS). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 86

December 3, 1833
Resolution of Council

Resolution of council prohibiting slaves from owning property, gambling, or drinking ardent spirits. (OS). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso. Folder 87

December 3, 1833
Resolution of Council

Resolution of Council prohibiting issue of due bills on National Funds. (OS). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 88

December 3, 1833
Resolution of Council

Resolution of Council entitling Administrators to one-third of the increase on cattle and horses held by an estate, and acquiring sale of hogs for benefit of heirs. (OS). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 89

December 3, 1833
Letter from Jenny to Cherokee Nation Delegation

Letter from Jenny, the soldier's widow, to delegation concerning the seizure of her husband's land by white man Joel McGory. Plus affidavit of John Smith refuting claim that the husband sold the Aquanee District land. Witnessed by J. D. Wofford. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 92

April 3, 1834
Letter from Ayugui to Cherokee Delegation

Letter from Ayugui to Cherokee Delegation concerning land seizure. Mentions Joel McCrory. Attested to by J. D. Wofford. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 95

April 3, 1834
Letter from Seneca Delegation to Cherokee Delegation

Letter from an eight man Seneca Delegation in Washington City to a Cherokee Delegation in Washington City asking for cooperation. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 98

April 7, 1834
Draft of Plea to U. S. for "Justice and Humanity"

Draft of plea to U. S. for "justice and humanity" more than a half century after Confederation. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 1383

1797 - 1897
Notes on the Treaty of 1755 with South Carolina

Notes on Treaty of 1755 with South Carolina and building Fort Loudon and Tellico Block House from Ramsey's History of South Carolina, 1809. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 1374

1797 - 1897
Note Requesting William Williams and James Starr to Meet with Acting U. S. Agent

Note (signature illegible; possibly Wm. Potter Ross) requesting William Williams and James Starr to meet with acting U. S. Agent M. Duval. (1843 per Moulton). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 1382

1797 - 1897
Unsigned Letter Addressed to 'Sir' (Samuel Cooper per Moulton)

Unsigned letter addressed only to 'Sir' (Samuel Cooper per Moulton) taking exception to United States position 'that the President has no alternative.' One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 337A

1797 - 1897
Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to David Irwin

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Mineral Springs near Wms., to David Irwin, attorney. Reporting results of vote to place annuity money in National Fund, actions of Georgia Guard, and failure of Major Ridge's resolution to exclude payment of lawyers' fees out of annuity fun. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 151

August 17, 1835
Minutes of Meetings of Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter with Colonel John Mason, Jr.

Minutes of meetings of Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter with Colonel John Mason, October 30 to November 6, 1831. (Moulton). Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on seven pages.
Folder 260A

1797 - 1897
Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to William Y. Hansell

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to William Y. Hansell. Encouraging him to share information (Aug 11, 1835) with Major George M. Waters or B. F. Thompson. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 150

August 13, 1835
Letter from B. F. Curret to Elbert Herring

Letter from B. F. Curret, Cherokee Agent for Emigration, to Elbert Herring, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, concerning James Martin's escape after arrest and Lieutenant Hooper's responsibility. (Several attachments not found) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 152

August 20, 1835
Letter from Chief John Ross Addressed to 'Gentleman'

Letter (apparently signed by Chief John Ross) addressed 'Gentleman' asking recipient to observe trial of White Path based on hatched-up charges. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 154

September 15, 1835
Spoliation Claim of We-er-hutta

Spoliation claim of We-er-hutta, Long Town, and witness affidavit sworn before Hiram McCrony, District Clerk. Sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 153

September 3, 1835
Letter from S. Rockwell to Chief John Ross

Letter from S. Rockwell to Chief john Ross. Introducing John Howard Payne. Single sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 155

September 24, 1835
Letter from Secretary of War William H. Crawford to Return J. Meigs

Letter from William H. Crawford, Secretary of War, to Return J. Meigs, Cherokee Indian Agent. This letter also contains instructions to President Andrew Jackson regarding removal of intruders upon Indian lands. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto. Folder 7

March 2, 1816
Spoliation Claim of Nancy

Spoliation claim of Nancy, Long Town, and witness affidavit before Hiram McCrory, District Clerk. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 161

October 17, 1835
Spoliation Claim of Cherokee in Long Town

Spoliation claim of Cherokee, Long Town, and witness affidavit sworn before Hiram McCrory, District Clerk. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 158

October 4, 1835
Questions and Answers of Unnamed Witness about Visit of Starr Boys

Questions and answers of unnamed witness about visit of Starr boys to Samuel McDaniels; mentions Buffington, Kelly, and Vore (Military Road) murders of 1843. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 1379

October 19, 1838 to April 29,1839
List of Reservation Claims

List of reservation claims. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and handwritten text in pencil on verso.
Folder 1383

1797 - 1897
Manuscript Files

Manuscript files (improvement, Spoliation, and reservation claims), Tahlequah District. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 1378

1797 - 1897
Incomplete Draft of a Treaty for Removal of Cherokee

Incomplete draft of a treaty for removal of Cherokee. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 336C

1797 - 1897
Sheet with Part of Letter

Sheet with part of letter regarding Mose "Jinatt"(?) Pamphlet plus notes of talk to Seminoles, and newspapers. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 1376

1797 - 1897
Fragment

Fragment of visit to detachment at Willard's Ferry. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 1376

1797 - 1897
Fragment of Gen. Scott's Letter of Aug. 2, 1838

Fragment of Gen. Scott's letter of Aug. 2, 1838 and cost per person of removal. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 1376

1797 - 1897
Sheet Regarding Treaty Negotiations

Sheet regarding treaty negotiations with Col. Mason. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 1376

1797 - 1897
Sheet about Direct Communication to President

Sheet about direct communication to President, military force, favorable memorials, corn planting, etc. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 1376

1797 - 1897
Photocopy of Final Page of Letter to Brothers of Unnamed Indian Nation

Photocopy of final page of letter to brothers of unnamed Indian Nation signed by Cherokee Delegation. One sheet of paper with photocopy on recto.
Folder 1384

1797 - 1897
Affidavit of Rufus M. McWilliams

Piece of paper attached, with wax, to 4026.932-.1. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto. Folder 762.

April 30, 1841
Notes Regarding the Ross Family

Notes regarding Ross Family by Mrs. Upton, Granddaughter of Wm. P. Ross. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 1373

1797 - 1897
Notes on Murrell and Ross Genealogy

Notes on Murrell and Ross genealogy by Mary Elizabeth Good. Sheets of paper with typed text in ink on six pages.
Folder 1373

1797 - 1897
Chronology Relating to Michael Murrell

Chronology relating to George Michael Murrell and old Park Hill by Mary Elizabeth Good. Sheets of paper with typed text on six pages.
Folder 1373

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folded 1333A Undated, Unsigned Text of Act of National Council

Undated, unsigned text of Act of National Council authorizing Principal Chief to lease Cherokee Outlet (lease signed July 5, 1883). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folded 1333A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 1 Letter from P. Butler to William Blount

Letter from P. Butler to William Blount regarding Mr. Allison's effort to sell Tennessee land mortgaged to Butler. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 1

March 9, 1797
John Ross, Folder 2A Treaty Between Cherokees and Creeks

Treaty at Fort Jackson establishing a boundary between the Cherokee and Creeks, witnessed by Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Hawkins, and Return J. Meigs. Folder 2. 4826.3a-b is a photocopy of a transcript of the original treaty.
Folder 2A

August 9, 1814
John Ross, Folder 3 Letter from Return J. Meigs to Captain Charles Hicks

Letter from Return J. Meigs, Cherokee Agent, to Captain Charles Hicks. Seeking return of narrative relative to the boundary line and any additional info Hicks has acquired. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages. Folder 3

December 19, 1815
John Ross, Folder 4 Instructions from Na-no-he-ta-hee to John Lowry, John Walker, Major Ridge, Richard Taylor, Che-u-cun-se-nee, and John Ross

Instructions by Na-no-he-ta-hee [Path Killer], Chief in Knoxville, for delegation of John Lowry, John Walker, Major Ridge, Richard Taylor, Che-u-cun-se-nee, and John Ross. They are to go to Washington to meet with the President to discuss the boundary line between the Cherokee Nation and the Creeks, their prior decision on a tract in South Carolina, damage and plundering of Cherokee property during the war with Creeks, and insubordination of militia officers and men. He also points out the existence of beds of iron ore on Cherokee land (Moulton). Two sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on five pages.
Folder 4

January 10-11, 1816
John Ross, Folder 5 Photostat Copy of Delegation of John Lowry, John Walker, Major Ridge, Richard Taylor, Che-u-cun-se-nee, and Chief John Ross

Photostat copy of Instructions by Na-no-he-ta-hee (Path Killer), Principal Chief in Knoxville for delegation of John Lowry, John Walker, Major Ridge, Richard Taylor, Che-u-cun-se-nee, and Chief John Ross. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on eight pages.
Folder 5

January 10-11, 1816
Letter from John Lowry to President James Madison

Letter from John Lowry to President James Madison. Lowry asked for equal treatment with white soldiers and their families for war services. (Two Photostats of document are in folder 5b) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 5

February 19, 1816
John Ross, Folder 6 Record of Conversation between John Lowry and President James Madison

Record of conversation between John Lowry and President James Madison. The latter mentioned war losses, iron works, and smith shops, and willingness to cede a piece of South Carolina land. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 6

February 22, 1816
John Ross, Folder 7 Letter from Secretary of War William H. Crawford to Return J. Meigs

Letter from William H. Crawford, Secretary of War, to Return J. Meigs, Cherokee Indian Agent. This letter also contains instructions to President Andrew Jackson regarding removal of intruders upon Indian lands. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 7

March 2, 1816
John Ross, Folder 8 Letter from Cherokee Delegation to George Graham

Letter from Cherokee Delegation to George Graham, War Department. Regarding Cherokee-Creek boundary. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 8

March 4, 1816
John Ross, Folder 9 Letter from Cherokee Delegation to William H. Crawford

Letter from Cherokee Delegation to Secretary of War William H. Crawford concerning balance of national annuities. (Moulton) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 9

March 22, 1816
John Ross, Folder 10A Letter from the Cherokee Delegation to George Graham

Letter from the Cherokee Delegation, in Washington City (John Lowry, John Walker, Ridge, Rich Taylor) to George Graham, War Department, concerning three tracts of land reserved under the Treaty of Tellico. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 10A

March 22, 1816
John Ross, Folder 10B Copy of Letter from Cherokee Delegation to George Graham

Copy of letter from the Cherokee Delegation, in Washington City (John Lowry, John Walker, Ridge, Rich Taylor) to George Graham, War Department, concerning three tracts of land reserved under the Treaty of Tellico. Photocopy on one sheet of paper of 4026.25a.
Folder 10B

March 22, 1816