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Monument to John Ross


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Monument to John Ross

John Ross 1790-1866

Principal Chief of the Cherokee, 1828 - 1866

Born October 3, 1790 in Turkeytown, Alabama, the son of a one-quarter Cherokee maiden and a Scotsman, John Ross was elected as the first Principal Chief of the Cherokee Indians in 1828 and served in that capacity for the next 38 and one half years until his death on August 1, 1866 in Washington, D.C.

During his tenure as Principal Chief, John Ross vehemently resisted all efforts by the various states and federal government to undermine the sovereignty and removal proposals. After exhausting every legal avenue, the Cherokee people were forcibly removed west during the winter of 1838-39.

Much of his life was spent dealing with adversity. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, serving under his future adversary, Andrew Jackson. The removal of his people also cost the life of his beloved wife, Quatie. After removal the internal strife of a nation divided, the War Between the States, again divided his people and Chief Ross had to cope with the struggle for power between the United States and the Confederate States by trying to keep his people neutral.

Chief Ross was buried in Delaware when in 1867, a delegation was sent to return his remains to the Cherokee Nation. After lying in state for one month at the Cherokee National Male Seminary, his remains were interred at the Ross Cemetery at Park Hill. [south of Tahlequah]

Chief John Ross
Address to the National Council
Tahlequah, Indian Territory - October 5, 1857

"The surest safeguard for the nation must be found in the respect and confidence of the people; and those can be secured only by its affording that protection to life and prosperity for which it was instituted.

Dedicated this 27th day of October, 1990.


Address: Cherokee Square surrounding the Capitol Building.

Come visit us in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Attractions and Upcoming Events

The Cherokee Advocate

The Cherokee Advocate
Vol 1, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Thursday, September 9, 1844

As a tribute to Oklahoma's first legal newspaper, The Cherokee Advocate, was established in 1844 in a building approximately 100' from the location (of this maker.)

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Cherokee Supreme Court Building

This structure was built in 1845 by James S. Pierce to house the Cherokee National Supreme Court. The supreme and district court both held sessions here for some time. The "Cherokee Advocate" was also printed in this building for several years after the original Advocate building burned. About 1875

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Cherokee National Prison

This sandstone building was erected in 1874 and originally had three stories. The third story was removed in 1925

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Statue of Liberty Replica

With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these United States.

The Boy Scouts of America

Dedicated this replica of the statue of liberty as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty.

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Cherokee Heritage Center

The Cherokee Heritage Center, operated by the Cherokee National Historical Society, is located three miles south of Tahlequah, on the original site of the Cherokee Female Seminary. This remote area, covered with dense underbrush, was cleared in the mid-1960

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