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 317 Unidentified text to be read by White Path

Unidentified text to be read by White Path (Cherokee Delegate). One folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 317

March 11, 1838
John Ross, Folder 318 Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Congress

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Congress seeking leave to submit memorial with 15,665 signatures. (Moulton). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 318

March 12, 1838
John Ross, Folder 319 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross regarding letter of Commissioner of Indian Affairs A. C. Harris to General Nathaniel Smith, talk with John Mason, Jr., etc. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 319

March 15, 1838
John Ross, Folder 320 Letter from R. D. Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from R. D. Ross in Lawrenceville to Chief John Ross. Postscript by J. M. Ross. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 320

March 16, 1838
John Ross, Folder 321 Letter from Rich S. Coxe to Samuel I. Potts

Letter from Rich S. Coxe to Samuel I. Potts which outlines plan for resolution of Cherokee crisis. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 321

March 19, 1838
John Ross, Folder 322 Letter from Evan Jones to Chief John Ross

Letter from Evan Jones to Chief John Ross concerning Boudinot pamphlet, Cherokee memorial, and suggesting that Richard Taylor, Situagi, and White Path write letters to the people regarding the Treaty of 1835. (Resembles Moulton Vol. I, pp. 614-615). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 322

March 20, 1838
John Ross, Folder 324 Incomplete Draft of March 1838 Memorial and Petition to Congress

Incomplete draft of [March 1838] Memorial and Petition to Congress. Regarding Seminole Deputation expenses. (Evidently written after March 7 and Before March 26, 1838). Two folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on seven pages.
Folder 324

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 325 Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross concerning lack of letters and conditions in Nation. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 325

March 22, 1838
John Ross, Folder 327 Letter from William Shorey Coodey to Chief John Ross

Letter from William Shorey Coodey to Chief John Ross. He is concerned about non-receipt of letters. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages (Moulton).
Folder 327

March 27, 1838
John Ross, Folder 328 Letter from Commissioner of Indian Affairs C. A. Harris to Chief John Ross

Letter from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs C. A. Harris to Chief John Ross reporting that the Senate has tabled Cherokee Memorial thereby supporting Executive Branch in carrying Treaty of 1835 into effect. On the reverse of this letter is a letter dated April 12, 1838 from Lewis Ross asking him to place affairs of Cherokee in better light before May 23. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 328

March 27, 1838
John Ross, Folder 329 Letter from O. S. Fowler to Chief John Ross

Letter from O. S. Fowler, Practical Phrenologist, to Chief John Ross asking Ross to allow plaster casts to be made of heads of Cherokee Delegation. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 329

March 28, 1838
John Ross, Folder 330 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross in Washington City to Lewis Ross reporting Senate debate on Memorial and prospect for negotiation on basis of removal. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 330

March 28, 1838
John Ross, Folder 331 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Lewis Ross indicating that President Van Buren will consider proposition from us for 'a new arrangement' only if delegation writes letter to the Cherokee instructing them to prepare to remove by May 23. Planting of corn indicates intention to contrary. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 331

April 5, 1838
John Ross, Folder 332 Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross reporting of Seminole Delegation and frauds going on in disbursement of money. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 332

April 6, 1838
John Ross, Folder 333 Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Georgia Governor George R. Gilmer

Copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Georgia Governor George R. Gilmer assuring him that Cherokee intentions are peaceful. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 333

April 6, 1838
John Ross, Folder 334 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to John M. Ross

Draft copy of letter from chief John Ross to nephew John M. Ross regarding President Van Buren's possible actions. (Folder contains separate sheet regarding 'Egyptian Temple' which is not in Moulton. Gilcrease copy does not include postscript found in Moulton.) Two sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on both rectos and both versos.
Folder 334

April 10, 1838
John Ross, Folder 336A Memorandum of Suggestions for a Treaty

Memorandum of Suggestions for a treaty including 'an entire removal.' Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 336A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 336B Draft of a Letter from Chief John Ross to the 'Executive'

Draft of a letter from Chief John Ross to the 'Executive.' (After debate on memorial in Senate) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 336B

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 336D Incomplete Draft of Treaty

Incomplete draft of treaty similar to one in 4026.3041. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 336D

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 337 Letter from Acting Secretary of War S. Cooper to Cherokee Delegation

Letter from Acting Secretary or War S. Cooper to Cherokee Delegation regarding letter of April 13 and reiterating determination to carry out Treaty of 1835. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages and handwritten text in pencil on one side.
Folder 337

April 14, 1838
John Ross, Folder 338 Letter from Acting Secretary of War S. Cooper to Cherokee Delegation

Letter from Acting Secretary of War Samuel Cooper to Cherokee Delegation replying to their letter of April 16, 1838. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on one page and handwritten text in pencil on one page. Folder 338

April 17, 1838
John Ross, Folder 339 Invitation from Samuel Webb and John Truman to Chief John Ross

Invitation from Samuel Webb and John Truman to Chief John Ross in Washington City to speak at dedication of Pennsylvania Hall. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 339

April 19, 1838
John Ross, Folder 340 Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross

Letter from Lewis Ross to Chief John Ross endorsing proposal in Chief John Ross' letter of April 4 (or possibly April 5), but expressing no hope it will succeed. (Moulton) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto.
Folder 340

April 20, 1838
John Ross, Folder 341 Draft Copy of Letter from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman declining invitation of April 19. (Moulton) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages and handwritten text in red pencil on one page.
Folder 341

May 3, 1838
John Ross, Folder 342 Resolution of Citizens of Philadelphia Condemning United States Attempt to Forcibly Remove Cherokee Nation

Resolution of citizens of Philadelphia condemning United States attempt to forcibly remove Cherokee Nation. Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 342

May 16, 1838
John Ross, Folder 343 Printed 'Address' of Major General Winfield Scott to the Cherokee

Printed 'address' of Major General Winfield Scott to the Cherokee asking them to make preparations for removal and gather at Ross' Landing or Gunter's Landing. One sheet of paper with typed text in ink on recto and handwritten text in ink on verso.
Folder 343

May 10, 1838
John Ross, Folder 344 Four Spoliation Claims in Cherokee County, Alabama

Four spoliation claims in Cherokee County, Alabama attested to by James C. Street, John Wilson, and George Birdwell. One folded sheet with handwritten text in ink on four sides (4026.566-.1). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto (4026.566.2).
Folder 344

May 11, 1838
John Ross, Folder 345 Letter (Copy and Draft) from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman

Letter (copy and draft) from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman (see April 19, 1838) mainly refuting letter (not included) of John Ridge regarding the 1835 Treaty and Chief John Ross. Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 345

May 14, 1838
Letter [copy and draft] from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman

Letter (copy and draft) from Chief John Ross to Samuel Webb and John Truman (see April 19, 1838) mainly refuting letter (not include) of John Ridge regarding the 1835 Treaty and Chief John Ross. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 345

May 14, 1838
John Ross, Folder 346 Letter from Louis Wyeth to the Honorable R. Chapman and C. C. Clay

Letter from Louis Wyeth of Claysville, Alabama to the Honorable R. Chapman and C. C. Clay enclosing a warrant for delivery or James and Catherine Vaught to answer suit by Isaac Welbourn for return of two negro slaves. (True copies) Two folded sheets with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 346

May 16, 1838 to October 1, 1838
Letter from Louis Wyeth to the Honorable R. Chapman and C. C. Clay

Letter from Louis Wyeth in Claysville, Alabama to the Honorable R. Chapman and C. C. Clay. Enclosing warrant for delivery of James and Catherine Vaught to answer suit by Isaac Welbourn for return of two negro slaves (true copy). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 346

May 16, 1838 to October 1, 1838
John Ross, Folder 346A Incomplete Draft of Letter from Chief John Ross to Gale S. Heaton

Incomplete draft of letter from Chief John Ross to Gale S. Heaton regarding remarks by Wilson Lumpkin published in his paper. (May relate to Moulton Vol. 1. p. 640) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 346A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 346B Draft of Letter from Chief John Ross to Globe Newspaper

Draft of letter from Chief John Ross to Globe Newspaper regarding remark of Governor Lumpkin. Two folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 346B

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 347 Letter from William Shorey Coodey to Chief John Ross

Letter from William Shorey Coodey in Philadelphia to Chief John Ross reporting destruction of Pennsylvania Hall by mob aroused by mixing of negroes and whites planned for cancelled lecture. (See April 19, 1838) (Moulton) One folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 347

May 17, 1838
John Ross, Folder 348 Printed Orders Number 25 of General Winfield Scott

Printed Orders Number 25 of General Winfield Scott, Commander of Cherokee Removal, for round up of Cherokee at Cherokee Agency, Ross' Landing, or Gunter's Landing. One sheet of paper with typed text in ink on recto.
Folder 348

May 17, 1838
John Ross, Folder 349 Two letters from Joel Roberts Poinsett to the Cherokee Delegation with envelope

Envelope for letter from Joel R. Poinsett, Secretary of War, to delegation in Washington City. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two sides.
Folder 349

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 349A Unsigned and Unfinished Draft Entitled 'Project for a Treaty'

Unsigned and unfinished draft entitled 'Project for a Treaty' (May be a preliminary version that is described in May 18, 1838 letter) Single folded sheet with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 349A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 350 Letter from John M. Ross and W. P. Ross to Chief John Ross

Letters from John M. Ross and W. P. Ross (nephews) to Ross. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 350

May 19, 1838
John Ross, Folder 351 House Doc. No. 374

House Doc. No. 374. Printed Memorial of Citizens of Marietta, Ohio, against Treaty of New Echota. Two pages of pamphlet with type text, in ink on 3 sides. Back page has handwritten text in ink. Folded.
Folder 351

May 21, 1838
John Ross, Folder 352 Letter from C. A. Harris, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to General N. Smith

Letter from C. A. Harris, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to General N. Smith permitting old and infirm Cherokees to remain and become citizens; with permit issued to George (Alias Roman Nose) and family by Smith. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 352

May 24, 1838
John Ross, Folder 353 Copy of Recommendation by Committee on Indian Affairs

Copy of recommendation by Committee on Indian Affairs, accepted by Secretary of War, to pay Seminole deputation $5 per day for trip to Washington. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on one page.
Folder 353

May 29, 1838
John Ross, Folder 354 Letter from Chief John Ross to Mrs. Bayard

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Washington City, to Mrs. Bayard acknowledging gift of books to Cherokees by Harriet Livermore (Moulton). Folded sheet with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 354

June 5, 1838
John Ross, Folder 355 Letter from George Lowry, Going Snake, and Others to General Winfield Scott

Petition to General Winfield Scott from George Lowrey, Going Snake, and others, warning of sickness and death in sickly season and asking for delay in migration. There is also a small note dated June 11, 1838 from George Lowry, concerning the bearer of two petitions. Bound document. Two folded sheets with handwritten text in ink on 4 of 8 pages.
Folder 355

June 9, 1838
John Ross, Folder 356 Copy of agreement between Reuben E. Clements and Nedom A. Bryan & Co. with Captain John Page

Copy of agreement between Reuben E. Clements and Nedom A. Bryan & Co. with Captain John Page, Disbursing Agent for Removal, for rations, corn, and fodder at cost of $.16 per ration, $1 per bushel and $2 per cwt. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 356

June 12, 1838
John Ross, Folder 357 Letter from Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter to Joel Roberts Poinsett

Letter from Delegation, Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter, signers, to Joel Roberts Poinsett, Secretary of War, Regarding his letter of May 18, asking what modifications the President is willing to grant under new law, and asking for a change in the persons adjusting claims. (Moulton) Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 357

June 15, 1838
John Ross, Folder 358 Letter from Joel Roberts Poinsett to John Ross

Letter from Joel R. Poinsett to Chief John Ross and Edward Gunter replying to their letter of June 15, declining to remove claims adjusters and calling new law "clear, explicit, and intelligible." Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 358

June 18, 1838
John Ross, Folder 359 Letter from Cherokee Delegation to Joel Roberts Poinsett

Letter from Cherokee Delegation to Joel Roberts Poinsett. Asking him to pay $33,333.35 for arrearages in annuities appropriated by Congress. (Moulton) Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on one page and handwritten text in pencil on one page.
Folder 359

June 18, 1838
Copy of Letter from Cherokee Delegation to Joel Roberts Poinsett

Copy of 4026.584a, a letter from Cherokee Delegation to Joel Roberts Poinsett. Asking him to pay $33,333.35 for arrearages in annuities appropriated by Congress. (Moulton) One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 359

June 18, 1838
John Ross, Folder 360 Letter to General Scott

Draft of a similar letter to 4026.586 to General Scott, accepting answer to petition of June 9, 1838 with conditions. Folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages and handwritten text in pencil on one page.
Folder 360

June 19, 1838
Letter to General Scott

Draft of letter to General Scott that is incomplete. Draft discussing accepting answer to petition of June 9, 1838 with conditions. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 360

June 19, 1838