Finding Aid: John Ross Papers

Institution: Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
Language of Material: English
Description: 11 feet  
Period covered: 1797 - 1897 
Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: 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 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
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
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
John Ross, Folder 11 Letter from the Cherokee Delegation to William Crawford

Letter from the Cherokee Delegation, Washington City (John Lowry, John Walker, Ridge, Rich Taylor, John Ross) to William H. Crawford, Secretary of War, concerning reserved land tracts. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages (Moulton).
Folder 11

March 23, 1816
John Ross, Folder 11A Copy of Remarks of Andrew Jackson

Copy of remarks of President Andrew Jackson who with Joseph McMinn and David Meriwether negotiated the Cherokee Treaty of July 8, 1817. Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink. There is a string attached to the document.
Folder 11A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 12 Cherokee-Creek Treaty

Certified Copy of the Cherokee-Creek Treaty regarding boundary. Top left corner folded. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 12

December 11, 1821
John Ross, Folder 12A Note From Return J. Meigs to John Ross

Note from Cherokee Indian Agent Return J. Meigs to Chief John Ross concerning slaves. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 12A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 13 Letter from Duncan Campbell, James Meriwether, Thomas Radcock, and James Blair to Cherokee Chiefs, Headmen, and Warriors

Letter from Duncan Campbell and James Meriwether (United States Commissioners) and Thomas Radcock and James Blair (Georgia Commissioners) to Cherokee Chiefs, Headmen, and Warriors regarding failure of Cherokees to meet on January 15, 1823. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 13

January 20, 1823
John Ross, Folder 14 Letter from John Ross to Gales and Seaton

Letter from John Ross, George Lowrey, Major Ridge, and Elijah Hicks, Cherokee Delegation, Washington City, to Gales and Seaton (National Intelligencer). Concerning dispossessing Indians of their lands. (Moulton) Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 14

April 20, 1824
John Ross, Folder 16 Letter from Thomas L. McKenney to Charles Hicks

Letter from Thomas L. McKenney, Comm. of Indian Affairs, to Charles Hicks. Regarding medal for Sequoyah, care of David Brown, and President's message to Congress. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 16

March 29, 1825
John Ross, Folder 17 Letter from Charles Vann to Charles R. Hicks

Letter from Charles Vann to Charles R. Hicks regarding census report on Hightower District. (Document is in poor condition) Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 17

April 4, 1825
John Ross, Folder 18 Letter from Spencer Jarnagin to John Ross

Letter from Spencer Jarnagin. to Chief John Ross concerning Peggy Shorry claim. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages. Folder 18

November 17, 1825
John Ross, Folder 18A Letter from James Barbour to Creek Nation

Article between James Barbour, Secretary of War, and the Creek Nation declaring the Creek Treaty of Indian Springs null and void (in fragment of letter discussing the same). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on two pages.
Folder 18A

1797 - 1897
John Ross, Folder 19 John Ross's Master Mason certificate

Certificate of Chief John Ross's initiation as a Master Mason by the Olive Branch Lodge in Jasper, Tennessee. Embossed seal on ribbon. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto. 4026.33b is a photocopy.
Folder 19

April 5, 1827
John Ross, Folder 20 Bond of Tilman Ross

Bond of Tilman Ross for $50, payable to the Cherokee Nation. Sureties of Alexander McCoy and Iona Wadley. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 20

May 21, 1827
John Ross, Folder 21 Journal of Committee by John Drew

Journal recorded claims admitted. Sheets of paper bound with string. 21 pages handwritten in ink. Front and back covers handwritten text in ink.
Folder 21

October 1827
John Ross, Folder 22 Certificate of John Ross's Appointment as Postmaster of Head of Coosa, Chattooga District

Certificate of Chief John Ross's appointment as Postmaster of Head of Coosa, Chattooga District. (Cherokee Nation and Georgia). Two sheets of paper with text in ink on the rectos.
Folder 22

June 23, 1828
John Ross, Folder 24 Letter from Colonel Lindsay to John J. Posey

Letter from Colonel Lindsay to John J. Posey regarding Cherokee's sale of cattle. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 24

July 1, 1828
John Ross, Folder 25 Certified Copy of Act Concerning Border between New Jersey and New York

Certified Copy of Act concerning the border between New Jersey and New York. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 25

November 21, 1828
John Ross, Folder 26 Copy of Letter from Cherokee Delegation to President Andrew Jackson

Copy of letter from Cherokee Delegation in Washington City; Chief John Ross, Edward Gunter, Rich Taylor, and William S. Coodey; to President Andrew Jackson suggesting the appointment of Colonel Thomas C. Hindman as replacement for Colonel Hugh Montgomery, Cherokee Agent. (Moulton). One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso. Two fragments from additional paper with handwritten text in ink on recto of first fragment.
Folder 26

March 6, 1829
John Ross, Folder 27 Copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Edward Gunter, Rich Taylor, and William S. Coodey to President Andrew Jackson

Copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Edward Gunter, Rich Taylor, and William S. Coodey in Washington City to President Andrew Jackson concerning Agent Colonel Hugh Montgomery. (Moulton) Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink. Folder 27

April 6, 1829
John Ross, Folder 28 Appointment of Light Horse Company and Instructions by President Walter Webber and Vice President Aaron Price

Appointment of the Light Horse Company and instructions by President Walter Webber and Vice President Aaron Price. (OS). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 28

June 9, 1829
John Ross, Folder 29 Copy of letter From Chief John Ross to President Andrew Jackson

Copy of letter from Chief John Ross, Head of Coosa (possibly location at the Head of the Coosa River), to President Andrew Jackson transmitting documents relating to the Montgomery case. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 29

June 24, 1829
John Ross, Folder 30 Copy of letter from Chief John Ross to General John Coffee

Copy of letter from Chief John Ross to General John Coffee regarding a meeting at the Cherokee Agency. Arranged but not kept by General Coffee. (Moulton). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 30

December 13, 1829
John Ross, Folder 32 Printed Texted of House Bill 425. Payment to Anthony Foreman from James Cunningham

Printed text of House Bill 425. Calling for payment to Anthony Foreman, Cherokee, for slaves illegaly taken by James Cunningham. One sheet of paper with typed text in ink on recto.
Folder 32

April 16, 1820
John Ross, Folder 33 Letter from William Wirt to Georgia Governor George R. Gilmer

Letter from William Wirt to Georgia Governor George R. Gilmer concerning legal representation of Cherokees. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 33

June 4, 1830
John Ross, Folder 34 Letter from William Wirt to Chief John Ross

Letter from William Wirt to Chief John Ross regarding legal questions. (Resembles Moulton Vol. I, pp. 109-190). Two folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on seven pages. Both sheets of paper are the same dimensions.
Folder 34

June 4, 1830
Letter from Jeremiah Evarts to William Wirt

Letter from Jeremiah Evarts to William Wirt giving Mr. Webster's views on legal questions. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 34

June 12, 1830
John Ross, Folder 36 Resolution of Cherokee Nation Council Concerning the Documents Used in Cherokee Controversy

Resolution from the Cherokee Nation Council concerning certain documents used in Cherokee controversy signed by John Ridge, Lewis Ross, and William S. Coodey. Approved by Chief John Ross. Two folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on seven pages.
Folder 36

July 17, 1830
John Ross, Folder 37 Resolution of Cherokee General Council to Chief John Ross

Resolution of Cherokee General Council instructing Chief John Ross to institute legal proceedings against Georgia, and authorizing him to engage and pay counsel. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 37

July 18, 1830
John Ross, Folder 38 Letter from Jeremiah Evarts to Chief John Ross

Letter from Jeremiah Evarts, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to Chief John Ross offering suggestions regarding Cherokee problems. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 38

July 20, 1830
John Ross, Folder 39 Letter from William H. Underwood to Chief John Ross

Letter from William H. Underwood, Esquire to Chief John Ross seeking information and describing public feelings in Georgia. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on three pages.
Folder 39

July 27, 1830
John Ross, Folder 40 Copy of letter from Secretary of War J. H. Eaton to Colonel Ward

Copy of letter from Secretary of War J. H. Eaton to Colonel Ward transmitting a copy of his July 29th letter to Colonel Montgomery, Cherokee Agent, setting forth the President's views on Indian removal. Five folded sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink on 19 pages.
Folder 40

August 2, 1830
John Ross, Folder 41 Letter from William Wirt to Chief John Ross

Letter from William Wirt to Chief John Ross regarding the Cherokee Case. (Resembles Moulton Vol. I, p. 196). Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages.
Folder 41

August 9, 1830
John Ross, Folder 42 Unsigned copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Thomas W. Harris Esquire

Unsigned copy of letter from Chief John Ross to Thomas W. Harris, Esquire regarding release of Alex McCoy. One sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on recto and verso.
Folder 42

August 27, 1830
John Ross, Folder 43 Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to William H. Underwood, Esquire

Draft copy of letter from Chief John Ross to William H. Underwood, Esquire regarding legal proceedings. (Moulton). Sheets of paper with handwritten text in ink.
Folder 43

September 3, 1830
John Ross, Folder 44 Letter from William Wirt to William H. Underwood, Esquire

Letter from William Wirt to William H. Underwood, Esquire concerning case in Georgia. Single folded sheet of paper with handwritten text in ink on four pages. Folder 44

September 10, 1830