Monday, September 19, 2011

What The Cherokee Nation Did

This entry is a letter written by John Ross to Opothleyoholo, the Creek Chief, assuring the chief and his people that he supported forming an alliance with the Confederates. Perhaps they found it hard to believe.
John Ross was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Native American Nation. He actually supported neutrality, but with Confederates winning battles such as Wilson's Creek so close to Oklahoma along with many Cherokees already aligned with the Confederates (some even had slaves), he probably felt pressure to officially support the Confederates.

This letter can be found at the Oklahoma Historical Society's website.
Park Hill, Cherokee Nation, September 19, 1861

Friends and Brothers: I have received a few lines from you, written on the back of a hasty note which I had written to the chiefs and headmen of your nation, and from which the following is an extract:

"Brothers:  I am gratified to inform you that the Great Being who overrules all things for good has sustained me in my efforts to unite the hearts and sentiments of the Cherokee people as one man; and at a mass meeting of about four thousand males, at Tahlequah, with one voice we have proclaimed in favor of forming an alliance with the Confederate States, and shall thereby preserve and maintain the brotherhood of Indian nations in a common destiny."

Brothers, if it is your wish to know whether I had written the above note or, not, I will tell you that I did, and in order that you may be fully informed of the whole proceedings of the Cherokee people at the mass meeting stated, and of the reasons which influenced the people to adopt them, I send you herewith several printed copies of my address to the people in convention and of the resolutions adopted by them on that occasion, I wish you to have them carefully read and correctly interpreted, in order that you may fully understand them.

Brothers, my advice and desire, under the present extraordinary crises, is for all the red brethern to be united among themselves in support of our common rights and interests by forming an alliance of peace and friendship with the Confederate States of America.
Your Friend and brother,JOHN ROSS,
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

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