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
John Ross, Folder 173 Fragment of Note about a Stolen Mare

Fragment of note about a stolen mare (bought from Peter Hildebrand). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 173

November 13, 1835
John Ross, Folder 173A Copy of Article from Cassville Pioneer about Chief John Ross' Arrest

Copy of Article from Cassville Pioneer reporting arrest of Chief John Ross and Payne by Georgia Guard. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 173A

November 13, 1835
John Ross, Folder 174 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to George R. Gilmer

Draft copy of letter from Chief john Ross at Camp Benton, where he and J. H. Payne are imprisoned, to George R. Gilmer, Governor of Georgia Regarding failure of delegation to agree with Commissioner Shermerhorn and plans to go to Washington City. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 174

November 13, 1835
John Ross, Folder 175 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to James Donohoo

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Red Clay, to James Donohoo. Asking him to Escort J. H. Payne if he returns to Tennessee upon release by Georgia Guard. (Moulton) Copy of original document 4026.234a-.1. Two sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto of 4026.234b and on recto and verso of 4026.234b.1.
Folder 175

November 17, 1835
Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to James Donohoo

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Red Clay, to James Donohoo. Asking him to Escort J. H. Payne if he returns to Tennessee upon release by Georgia Guard. [Moulton] Photocopy of 4026.234a-.1.
Folder 175

November 17, 1835
John Ross, Folder 176 Unsigned Document Listing Objections to Treaty of New Echota

Unsigned document listing objections to Treaty of New Echota (December 29, 1835). Folded sheets of paper wth handwritten text in ink on five pages.
Folder 176

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 177 Note from John Howard Payne to Chief John Ross

Note from John Howard Payne at McNair's to Chief John Ross. He wishes to see Ross. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 177

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 179 Memo of Documents or Referencing and Objections to Schermerhorn's Treaty

Memo of Documents or Referencing' and 'Objections to Shermerhorn's Treaty.' One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 179

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 180 Photostat of Letter from Chief John Ross to John Howard Payne

Photostat of a letter from Chief John Ross in Washington City, to John Howard Payne in New York. The Ross Delegation has presented credentials to President who has received a Cherokee memorial of which Chief John Ross has no knowledge. Made by State Department and sent by Captain Edwin Piburn, United States Army to show how Photostats come out. (Typescript) (Moulton) Four sheets of paper with typed text on the rectos. One sheet of paper is a Photostat. Folder 180

January 7, 1836
John Ross, Folder 181 Letter from John Howard Payne to Chief John Ross

Letter from John Howard Payne to Chief John Ross. Commenting on present situation and his pamphlet. (typescript) Sheets of paper with typed text in ink. Folder 181

January 15, 1836
John Ross, Folder 182 Communication Signed by Cherokee Delegates to Lewis Case

Communication signed by 19 delegates to Lewis Case, Secretary of War. Instructing him to pay $6,666.66 annuity to John Martin, Treasurer of Cherokee Nation East. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and handwritten text in pencil on verso.
Folder 182

February 24, 1836
John Ross, Folder 183 Letter from Elbert Herring to Chief John Ross and Others

Letter from Elbert Herring, Office of Indian Affairs, to Chief John Ross and others. Annuity (February 24, 1836) will not be paid because delegation 'has come here in defiance of its express prohibition', and 'President has ceased to recognize any existing Government among the Eastern Cherokees.' Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 183

March 9, 1836
John Ross, Folder 184 Manuscript entitled "Projects for a Treaty"

Manuscript [unsigned but written in Washington City] entitled 'Projects for a Treaty' compromising two alternative solutions to land problem. Papers with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 184

May 5, 1836
John Ross, Folder 185 Note from Chief John Ross to John Tipton

Note from Chief John Ross to General John Tipton, Senator, handed to Colonel Standifer by Lewis Ross and delivered to Tipton, protesting Schermerhorn Treaty and indicating readiness to meet with new commissioners, if appointed by the President. (Moulton) Two folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink. Folder 185

May 9, 1836
John Ross, Folder 186 Letter from A. R. Turk to Chief John Ross

Letter from A. R. Turk to Chief John Ross. Warning of possible hostilities; whites have fled; 80 Creeks are waiting. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 186

June 13, 1836
John Ross, Folder 187 Printed Text of Speech of Representative Chapman on Treaty with the Cherokee

Printed text of speech of Representative Chapman, Alabama. On bill making appropriations to carry Treaty with Cherokees into effect. Folded sheets of paper with types text.
Folder 187

June 29, 1836
John Ross, Folder 188 Copy of Letter from Ben F. Currey to William S. Coody

Copy of letter from Ben F. Currey, Cherokee Agent for Emigration, to William S. Coody. Concerning Coody's repot that members of Congress acted in bad faith in advising Chief John Ross as to his course of action; mentions $10,000 paid to Chief John Ross. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 188

July 7, 1836
John Ross, Folder 189 Letter from William S. Coodey to Major Ben F. Currey

Letter from William S. Coodey to Major Ben F. Currey in reply to letter of July 7, 1836. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 189

July 8, 1836
John Ross, Folder 190 Letter from John Howard Payne to Chief John Ross.

Letter from John Howard Payne to Chief John Ross. About visit with Chief john Ross in Philadelphia. Also in this folder are typescripts of the letter numbered 4026.251.1 and .2 and a Photostat of 4026.251.1 and 4026.251.3.
Folder 190

July 8, 1836
John Ross, Folder 191 Printed Text of Letter Regarding Preparations for Placing Troops in Cherokee Nation

Printed text, pages 5-12, of letter [to or from] Brigadier General john E. Wool, Commander of Cherokee Removal, regarding preparations for placing troops in Cherokee Nation. Folded sheet of paper with typed text in ink on eight pages.
Folder 191

July 12, 1836
John Ross, Folder 192 Letter Signed by 12 'Friends' to Chief John Ross

Letter signed by 12 'friends' requesting Chief John Ross to attend General Council at New Echota on September 12 as a member of the committee. (Moulton) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso. Folder 192

August 17, 1836
John Ross, Folder 193 Letter from M. Stokes to John Jolly, John Brown, and Joseph Vann, Principle Chiefs

Letter from Sub-Agent M. Stoke to John Jolly, John Brown, and Joseph Vann, Principle Chiefs, enclosing a claim (not found). (OS) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 193

September 1, 1836
John Ross, Folder 194 Letter from Chief John Ross to Brigadier General John E. Wool

Letter from Chief John Ross to Brigadier General John E. Wool. Inviting him to attend council at Red Clay on September 15, 1836. (Moulton) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and handwritten text in pencil on verso.
Folder 194

September 2, 1836
John Ross, Folder 195 Letter from James Liddell and P. W. Hemphill to John Benge

Letter from James Liddell and P. W. Hemphill to John Benge regarding standards for valuation or improvements. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 195

September 16, 1836
John Ross, Folder 196 Letter from Brigadier General John E. Wool to the Cherokee People

Letter from Brigadier General John E. Wool to the Cherokee People that the Treaty will not be altered and that removal is to be completed within two years from May 23, 1836. (Western Cherokee Item) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 196

September 19, 1836
John Ross, Folder 197 Statement of Claims Affirmed by J. D. Wofford

Statement of claims affirmed before J. D. Wofford, Agent collecting Cherokee Claims. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 197

September 26, 1836
John Ross, Folder 198 Order Signed by Richard Taylor and Stephen Foreman to Pay Thigh Walker

Order signed by Richard Taylor, President National Committee, and Stephen Foreman, Clerk, to pay Thigh Walker. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 198

September 27, 1836
John Ross, Folder 199 Letter from John Martin, National Treasurer, to Secretary of War

Letter from John Martin, National Treasurer, to Secretary of War. Instructing him to pay $16,418.17 of annuities to the delegation named: Chief John Ross, Richard Taylor, Samuel Gunter, George Sanders, James Brown, John Benge, and Stephen Foreman. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 199

September 29, 1836
John Ross, Folder 200 Resolution of General Council Fixing Pay and Expenses of the Delegation

Resolution of General Council fixing pay and expenses of the delegation. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 200

September 29, 1836
John Ross, Folder 201 Resolution of General Council Appointing Committee to Make Settlement with John Martin

Resolution of General Council appointing committee to make settlement with John Martin, Treasurer at expiration of his term, placing money in hands of Committee of the General Council, and naming Richard Taylor, Disbursing Agent. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 201

September 30, 1836
John Ross, Folder 205 General Order Number 74 from General John E. Wool Condemning Red Clay Council

General Order Number 74 from General John E. Wool condemning the Red Clay Council, and stating that no delegation will be received or recognized in Washington City. 3726.5.1-.2 are photocopies of the original document. Single sheet of paper with typed text in ink on recto.
Folder 205

November 3, 1836
John Ross, Folder 206 Letter Reporting that Uncle Mackey States There is a Presidential Order to Arrest Delegation for Opposing Treaty

Letter (fragments missing) written at Gunter's Landing and addressed "Dear Father". Reporting that Uncle Mackey states there is a Presidential Order to arrest the delegation for opposing the Treaty of New Echota; removal beginning. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 206

November 18, 1836
John Ross, Folder 207 Extract from Letter of Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Wilson Lumpkin and John Kennedy

Extract of letter from Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Wilson Lumpkin and John Kennedy concerning annuity due the Cherokees. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on one page.
Folder 207

January 6, 1837
John Ross, Folder 208 Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross in Red Clay advising him to flee to Athens Tennessee to avoid arrest. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 208

January 16, 1837
John Ross, Folder 209 Letter from John M. Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from John M. Ross, nephew, Lawrenceville, to Chief John Ross in Washington City introducing W. Phillips, teacher. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 209

February 17, 1837
John Ross, Folder 210 Memorial and Petition Signed by 6 Eastern and 4 Western Cherokee Chiefs

Memorial and Petition signed by 6 Eastern and 4 Western Cherokee Chiefs to Congress asking for a delay of the Treaty of New Echota and investigation of their assertions. (Moulton) Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 210

February 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 211 Letter Signed by Nine Delegates to Benjamin F. Butler

Letter signed by nine delegates to Benjamin F. Butler, Secretary of War, seeking a meeting. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages. Folder 211

February 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 212 Petition of Letter from New Echota to Chief John Ross

Petition of letter from New Echota to Chief John Ross in Washington City citing abuses of Cherokee and asking 'that you give us some encouragement of your reconciliation to the fate (which has now become evident) of the Cherokees…'Let us do the only thing that reason will allow us to do, which is to get away speedily from this state of affairs.' Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 212

February 17, 1837
John Ross, Folder 213 Letter from Benjamin F. Butler, Secretary of War, to Chief John Ross, John Looney, and Others

Letter from Secretary of War Benjamin F. Butler to Chief John Ross, John Looney, and others. Refusing recognition of delegation. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 213

February 24, 1837
John Ross, Folder 214 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross and Nine Delegates in Washington City to Henry R. Wise

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross and nine delegates in Washington City to Henry R. Wise answering questions regarding Galphin claim. fFolded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 214

February 25, 1837
John Ross, Folder 214A Note from Henry R. Wise to Chief John Ross

Note from Henry R. Wise to Chief John Ross listing three questions regarding Golphin claim. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 214A

February 1837
John Ross, Folder 215 Letter from Chief John Ross and Nine Delegate in Washington City to Secretary of War Benjamin F. Butler

Letter from Chief John Ross and nine delegates in Washington City to Secretary of War Benjamin F. Bulter protesting the President's failure to recognize the delegation. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 215

February 28, 1837
John Ross, Folder 216 Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross and 9 members of the Cherokee Nation East and West to Joel R. Poinsett, Secretary of War

Copy of letter from Chief John Ross and 9 members of the Cherokee Nation East and West to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett submitting credentials and communication [not included] for consideration of President. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 216

March 16, 1837
John Ross, Folder 217 Letter from General John E. Wool to the Cherokee

Longhand copy, two printed copies, and one Photostat of letter from Brigadier General John E. Wool to the Cherokee urging them to follow terms of the Treaty of New Echota. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 217

March 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 218 Unsigned Letter from Chief John Ross for the Delegation to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett

Unsigned letter from Chief John Ross for the delegation to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett concerning termination of annuities under old Treaties. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 218

March 25, 1837
John Ross, Folder 218A Letter from David Vann to Chief John Ross

Letter from David Vann in Washington City to Chief John Ross in Princeton New Jersey regarding report Secretary of War will ask Chief John Ross to go to Florida. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 218A

March 29, 1837
John Ross, Folder 219 Letter from Etwick Evans to Chief John Ross

Letter from Etwick Evans in Washington City to Chief John Ross raising questions, mentioning the Seminole War, and suggesting their meeting be kept secret. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 219

March 31, 1837
John Ross, Folder 220 Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett citing acts of oppression by Georgia Guard and United States Army ; Brigadier General John E. Wool to be replaced by Colonel William Lindsay. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 220

May 4, 1837
John Ross, Folder 221 Letter and Copy of Letter from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross

Letter and copy from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross in reply to Chief John Ross' letter of May 4, 1837. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 221

May 6, 1837
Letter and Copy of letter from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross

Letter and copy from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross in reply to Chief John Ross' letter of May 4, 1837. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 221

May 6, 1837