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CHIEF JOHN ROSS

John Ross, the leader of the Anti-Treaty Party among the Cherokees, was born near the foot of Lookout Mountain, in east Tennessee, in 1793. His father was a native of Scotland and his mother was a mixed-blood Cherokee with 1/4 Degree of Indian Blood (DIB). He received a fair education and in his early manhood became prominent in the affairs of his people. In 1828, he was elected principal chief of the Cherokee tribe, an office which he held continuously until his death, nearly forty years later. He was the leader of the majority of the Cherokee people in their determined opposition to the proposed migration to the West. Although in appearance he was a white man, being only 1/8 DIB, he exerted great influence over the fullblood members of the Cherokee tribe. He tried to keep the Cherokee Nation from becoming involved in the Civil WAr, but did not succeed. He then entered into an alliance with the Confederate States but later returned to the support of the Union. He died in Washington, D. C., August 1, 1866, where he had been attending the council between the Cherokee delegates and the Government commissioners in the negotiation of the new treaty.

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