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 222 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to John W. McClung

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to John W. McClung regarding fees for Scott Man Killer and services under contract with Edward Gunter. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 222

May 27, 1837
John Ross, Folder 223 Letter from Jacob Peck to Chief John Ross

Letter from Jacob Peck to Chief John Ross regarding claims for 'Lost Reserves.' Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 223

June 4, 1837
John Ross, Folder 224 Letter from Chief John Ross to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett

Letter from Chief John Ross to Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett protesting Brigadier General John E. Wool's General Order number 74 which colonel Lindsay states will require him 'to suppress a Cherokee General Council called for July 31, 1837.' (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 224

June 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 224A Memorandum of Cherokee Traditions Recounted by Andrew Sander

Memorandum of Cherokee traditions recounted by Andrew Sanders, interpreter, and quoted in part in Chief John Ross' letter of July 4, 1837 to John Howard Payne. (see Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 224A

circa July 4, 1837
John Ross, Folder 225 Copy of Interlocutory Decision of Commissioners under the Treaty with the Cherokee Relative to the Claims of Attorney Fees

Copy of interlocutory decision of commissioners under the Treaty with the Cherokee relative to the claims of Attorney fees. Includes report of the sub-committee by James Starr, Chairman, and approval of the committee by John Ridge, President. Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 225

July 8, 1837
John Ross, Folder 226 Letter from John H. Sherburne, Special Agent, to Chief John Ross

Letter from John H. Sherburne, Special Agent, Washington City to Chief John Ross. Asking, in confidence, if he would be willing to join in a trip to Florida to try and end the Seminole War. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 226

July 8, 1837
John Ross, Folder 227 Letter from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross

Letter from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross stating that Colonel Lindsay has been directed to allow council on June 22, 1837. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and handwritten text in pencil on verso.
Folder 227

July 15, 1837
John Ross, Folder 228 Letter from Ed Harden to Chief John Ross

Letter from Ed Herden to Chief John Ross regarding committee decision (July 8, 1837) to lower his fee. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 228

July 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 229 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to William Lindsay

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to William Lindsay regarding interdiction of planned council of Cherokee. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 229

July 25, 1837
John Ross, Folder 230 Unsigned Certification by John Brown Appling for United States Pension for Crawling Snake

Unsigned certification by the late Captain of Cherokee Warriors John Brown stating that Crawling Snake was wounded in action at the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend and is applying for United States Pension. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 230

July 1837
John Ross, Folder 231 Letter from John Williams to Chief John Ross

Letter from John Williams in Knoxville to Chief John Ross asking for meeting to suggest course of action for the Cherokee. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 231

August 2, 1837
John Ross, Folder 232 Letter from Colonel William Lindsay to Council for the Cherokee Nation

Letter from Colonel William Lindsay to Council of Cherokee Nation asking for help in rounding up the Creeks scheduled for removal who have taken refuge in the Cherokee Nation. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages and handwritten Cherokee syllabary in pencil.
Folder 232

August 3, 1837
John Ross, Folder 233 Letter from Colonel William Lindsay to Chief John Ross

Letter from Colonel William Lindsay to Chief John Ross announcing pending arrival of Special Agent John Mason, and asking that Council schedule his appearance to give 'views and intentions of the President.' Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 233

August 4, 1837
John Ross, Folder 234 Letter from Chief John Ross to Committee

Letter from Chief John Ross to Committee nominating Richard Taylor, Samuel Gunter, James Brown, Edward Gunter, Sittewakee, White Path, and Elijah Hicks as delegates to represent Cherokee Nation before the United States committee. Advise and consent (?) by Richard Taylor, President, and Stephen Foreman, Clerk. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto. Folder 234

August 7, 1837
John Ross, Folder 235 Text of address (unsigned) by John Mason, Jr. to the Cherokee

Text of address (unsigned) by John Mason, Jr. to the Cherokee in which he speaks for the President who sees destruction of the tribe in continued white contact, but salvation in their own lands in the west and promises a delegation in the House of Representatives. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 235

August 7, 1837
John Ross, Folder 235A Untitled Pencil Sheets Representing a "Talk for the President"

Untitled pencil sheets representing a 'Talk for the President.' Opening lines are identical with paragraph at bottom of second page and top of third page of speech. (See August 7, 1837) Nine sheets of paper with handwritten text in pencil on seventeen pages.
Folder 235A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 237 Letter from John H. Sherburne, Special Agent, to Chief John Ross

Letter from Special Agent John H. Sherburne to Chief John Ross (see July 8, 1837). Concerning Seminoles. (resembles Moulton Vol. I-513). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 237

August 10, 1837
John Ross, Folder 238 Resolution Outlining Duties of District Sheriffs

Resolution outlining duties of District Sheriff's when Supreme court at Red Clay is in session. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso. Folder 238

August 10, 1837
John Ross, Folder 239 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to John Mason, Jr.

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross at Red Clay to John Mason, Jr. transmitting resolution of General Council one day after his speech (see August 7, 1837) (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 239

August 11, 1837
John Ross, Folder 240 Letter from Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross

Letter from Joel R. Poinsett [delivered by Sherburne] to Chief John Ross. President 'has no control over Treaty, and no alternative but its enforcement.' Sherburne hopes to induce the Cherokee through the influence of Chiefs to remove peaceably. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 240

August 12, 1837
John Ross, Folder 242 Resolution of General Council Regarding Pay and Expenses of Delegation

Resolution of General Council regarding pay and expenses of delegation. Group includes Chief John Ross, Richard Taylor, Samuel Gunter, James Brown, Edward Gunter, Elijah Hicks, Sittewakee, and White Path. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 242

August 12, 1837
John Ross, Folder 243 Letter from John H. Sherburne, Special Agent, to Chief John Ross

Letter from John H. Sherburne to Chief John Ross concerning proposed trip to Florida to negotiate peace with the Seminole. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 243

September 4, 1837
John Ross, Folder 244 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Special Agent John H. Sherburne

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Special Agent John H. Sherburne stating conditions for any Seminole negotiations and priority of Cherokee difficulties. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 244

September 5, 1837
John Ross, Folder 245 Power of Attorney from Elizabeth Lowrey to Chief john Ross

Power of Attorney from Elizabeth Lowrey to Chief John Ross to pursue claims for land taken by United States citizens. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 245

September 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 246 Letter Signed Agili Written to Chief John Ross

Letter signed Agili written to Chief John Ross in Washington City. (Written in Cherokee Syllabary) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 246

September 22, 1837
John Ross, Folder 247 Letter from John Pilley to Chief John Ross.

Letter from John Pilley to Chief John Ross in Washington City requesting attention to his reservation and the valuation of toll bridges. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 247

October 3, 1837
John Ross, Folder 248 Letter from Peter Hildebrand to Chief John Ross

Letter from Peter Hildebrand in Columbus, Tennessee to Chief John Ross reporting removals and enrollments for West, a new plan for valuing improvements, and providing text of agent's notification to Joseph Green ordering him not to sell improvements to a white man. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 248

October 5, 1837
John Ross, Folder 249 Letter from Richard Fields to Chief John Ross

Letter from Richard Fields in Augusta, Georgia to Chief john Ross in Washington City regarding arrangements for trip to the Seminole with Colonel Sherburne. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 249

October 7, 1837
John Ross, Folder 250 Note from Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Cherokee Delegation

Note From Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett to Cherokee Delegation. Fixed appointment date. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 250

October 7, 1837
John Ross, Folder 250A Letter from John H. Sherburne, Special Agent, to Chief John Ross

Letter from John H Sherburne in Augusta, Georgia to Chief John Ross regarding Seminole trip. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 250A

October 7, 1837
John Ross, Folder 251 Letter from Arminta (Chief John Ross' niece) to Chief John Ross

Letter from Arminta [Chief John Ross' niece] to Chief John Ross in Baltimore. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 251

October 9, 1837
John Ross, Folder 252 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross concerning call on President and arrangements for Florida trip. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 252

October 12, 1837
John Ross, Folder 253 Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from Lewis Ross To Chief John Ross concerning deputation to Florida delayed at Augusta, only 365 have enrolled for emigration. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 253

October 25, 1837
John Ross, Folder 254 Copy of Letter Fragment to W. Nicholas Byers

Copy of letter fragment to W. Nicholas Byers. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 254

October 26, 1837
John Ross, Folder 255 Letter from John G. Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from John G. Ross at Cave Springs, Alabama to Chief John Ross naming several persons who have left, he will move to the Landing. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 255

October 29, 1837
John Ross, Folder 256 Drafts of Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft letter from Chief John Ross in Washington City to Brother Lewis G. Ross regarding cession of lands discussed with John Mason, Jr. (Jackson's Agent) as solution to controversy. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 256

October 29 & 30, 1837
John Ross, Folder 257 One Sheet of Unidentified Letter in which Chief John Ross Reports on Negotiations with John Mason, Jr.

One sheet of unidentified letter in which Chief John Ross reports on negotiations with John Mason, Jr. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 257

October 20, 1837
John Ross, Folder 258 Letter from John Mason, Jr. to Chief John Ross

Letter from John Mason, Jr. in Georgetown to Chief John Toss stating illness will require that their meeting be delayed one day. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 258

November 3, 1837
John Ross, Folder 259 Letter from George C. Benge to Chief John Ross

Letter from George C. Benge to Chief John Ross regarding fraudulent spoliation claim concerning four slaves filed by Robert B. Vann. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 259

November 5, 1837
John Ross, Folder 260 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Major James C. Martin

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Major James C. Martin expressing hope that conferences will lead to a new treaty in which 'Cherokee concede a portion of our national rights for the best consideration which can be obtained.' (Moulton). Letter also states that the Secretary of War has agreed to Colonel Lindsay's suggestion that Creek Indians be allowed to remain at peace in the Cherokee Nation. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 260

November 5, 1837
John Ross, Folder 261 Draft of a Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft of a letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis G. Ross concerning Seminole deputation and rejection by Colonel John Mason of Chief John Ross' proposition. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 261

November 11, 1837
John Ross, Folder 262 Letter from Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter to Colonel John Mason, Jr.

Letter from Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter in Washington City to Colonel John Mason, Jr. altering proposal 'to convey all lands belonging to us within the limits of Georgia, retaining only so much as shall be agreed upon as furnishing a convenient and sufficient connection between residue of our territory.' (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 262

November 14, 1837
John Ross, Folder 263 Resolution of General Council to Affect that the Cherokee Nation Cannot Aid in the Roundup of Creeks

Resolution of General Council at Red Clay to affect that the Cherokee Nation cannot aid roundup of Creeks [see August 7, 1837] or protect same if United States power is exerted against them. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 263

August 10, 1837
Draft Copy of Letter to 'Sir' (Jesse Bushyhead) Regarding Seminole Deputation

Draft copy of letter to 'Sir' (Jesse Bushyhead) regarding Seminole deputation. (Moulton) Back of letter has opening lines of letter to Colonel John Mason, Jr. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 263

November 14, 1837
John Ross, Folder 264 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Stephen Huff

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross in Washington City to Stephen Huff. Seeks report on his foundered horse. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 264

November 15, 1837
John Ross, Folder 265 Letter from J. C. Martin to Chief John Ross

Letter from J. C. Martin to Chief John Ross referring to delegation and negotiations with Colonel John Mason, Jr. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 265

November 19, 1837
John Ross, Folder 266 Letter from Evan Jones to Chief John Ross

Letter from Evan Jones near Columbus, Tennessee to Chief John Ross reporting on small number of migrants, stationing of soldiers, and activities of W. H. Thomas. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 266

November 20, 1837
John Ross, Folder 267 Letter from William Shorey Coodey to Chief John Ross

Letter from William Shorey Coodey in Nashville, Tennessee to Chief John Ross in Washington City regarding failure of Western Cherokee Council to appoint a delegation. (OS) (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 267

November 26, 1837
John Ross, Folder 267A Letter from Peter Hildebrand to Chief John Ross

Letter from Peter Hildebrand to Chief John Ross regarding white intruders, army protection, etc. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 267A

November 26, 1837
John Ross, Folder 268 Unsigned Draft of Letter from Chief John Ross to 'Sir'

Unsigned draft of letter from Chief John Ross in Washington City to 'Sir' (John H. Sherburne) concerning Seminole affair, interview with Osceola, and General's order prohibiting delivery of Chief John Ross' 'Talk.' [see Dec 1 letter] (Moulton). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 268

November 27, 1837