John Ross


John Ross,, was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1828–1866, serving longer in this position than any other person.

John Ross, How to paint like Clinton by John Burk


Described as the Moses of his people, Ross influenced the Indian nation through such tumultuous events as the relocation to Indian Territory and the American Civil War.

As general terms, Indian Territory or the Indian Territories describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land.

The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States fought from 1861 to 1865.

John Ross, How to paint like Pelosi. by John Burk


John Ross was the son of a Cherokee mother and a Scottish father.


His mother and maternal grandmother were of mixed Scots-Cherokee ancestry, since his maternal grandfather was another Scottish immigrant.


As a result, young John grew up bilingual and bicultural, an experience that served him well when his parents decided to send him to schools that served other mixed-race Cherokee.

Multiracial is defined as made up of or relating to people of many races.


After graduation, he was appointed an Indian agent in 1811.

In United States history, an Indian agent was an individual authorized to interact with Native American tribes and First Nation band governments on behalf of the government.


During the War of 1812, he served as adjutant of a Cherokee regiment under the command of Andrew Jackson.

The War of 1812 was a military conflict that lasted from June 18, 1812 to February 18, 1815, fought between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, its North American colonies, and its Native American allies.

Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837 and was the founder of the Democratic Party.

Adjutant is a military appointment given to an officer who assists the commanding officer with unit administration, mostly the management of human resources in army unit.


After the Red Stick War ended, Ross demonstrated his business acumen by starting a tobacco plantation in Tennessee.

The Creek War, also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, was a regional war between opposing Creek factions, European empires and the United States, taking place largely in today's Alabama and along the Gulf Coast.

Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States.


In 1816, he built a warehouse and trading post on the Tennessee River north of the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, and started a ferry service that carried passengers from the south side of the river to the north side.

Chattanooga Creek is a stream in Walker County, Georgia and Hamilton County, Tennessee.


His businesses served as the start of a community known as Ross's Landing on the Tennessee River.

Ross's Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the last site of the Cherokee's 61-year occupation of Chattanooga and is considered to be the embarkation point of the Cherokee removal on the Trail of Tears.


Concurrently, John Ross developed a keen interest in Cherokee politics, attracting the attention of the Cherokee elders, especially Principal Chiefs Pathkiller and Charles R. Hicks, who, along with Major Ridge, became his political mentors.

Charles Renatus Hicks was one of the most important Cherokee leaders in the early 19th century; together with James Vann and Major Ridge, he was one of a triumvirate of younger mixed-race chiefs urging the tribe to acculturate to European-American ways.

Major Ridge, The Ridge was a Cherokee leader, a member of the tribal council, and a lawmaker.

Pathkiller, was a Cherokee warrior, town chief, and Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.


Ross first went to Washington, D.C. in 1816 as part of a Cherokee delegation to negotiate issues of national boundaries, land ownership and white encroachment.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.


As the only delegate fluent in English, Ross became the principal negotiator, despite his relative youth.


When he returned to the Cherokee Nation in 1817, he was elected to the National Council.


He became council president in the following year.


The majority of the council were men like Ross, who were wealthy, educated, English-speaking and of mixed blood.


Even the traditionalist full-blood Cherokee perceived that he had the skills necessary to contest the whites' demands that the Cherokee cede their land and move beyond the Mississippi River.

Mississippi is a state located in the southern region of the United States, with part of its southern border formed by the Gulf of Mexico.


In this position, Ross's first action was to reject an offer of $200,000 from the US Indian agent made for the Cherokee to voluntarily relocate.


Thereafter Ross made more trips to Washington, even as white demands intensified.


In 1824, Ross boldly petitioned Congress for redress of Cherokee grievances, making the Cherokee the first tribe to ever do so.

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