Gilcrease Museum is temporarily closed for construction.

Get the Full Story

Manuscript Collection: 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.

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 in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Manuscript Collection: John Ross Papers
Native American; Cherokee
Object Type(s): 
Accession No: 
John Ross Papers

Our Online Collections site is a work in progress. If you have information about this item that may be of assistance, please contact us.