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Manuscript Collection: Eastern Band Cherokee Papers

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: The Eastern Band of Cherokees were those who, under the leadership of John Ross, did not subscribe to the treaty of New Echota (1835) and had to be removed by force to the Western lands. However, there had been emigration to the West as early as 1810 by groups who wished to leave Georgia and the term "Western Cherokees" was applied to this group as well as to later emigrants. The papers in the Gilcrease files labeled "Eastern Band" generally apply to any Cherokees who were living in the East instead of the West before emigration. One document, dated 1752, is a bill to "The Publick of South Carolina" by Thomas Nightingale for the pasturage of Indian horses. Other papers in the 1750's are about supplying Indians with entertainment and food. In 1795 the Governor issued an order to William Blount for clothes for two Indians, and in 1797 a bill to the U. S. Government from Anthony Foster for goods delivered to Cherokees " . . . in consequence of two Indians being killed ... " is included. Also contained in the collection is an 1872 document concerning the choice of John Ross as attorney for the Eastern Cherokees and a copy of the minutes of a meeting of the Council, October, 1876. There is a handwritten list of names called "Roll A" of certain Eastern Cherokees. Included as well is Elijah Hicks' marriage license, dated June, 1829.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
30 items
1752 - 1907
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use 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.


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.

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.