Cherokee Leader, John Ross

John Ross

(1790-1866)

WHO HE WAS:

John Ross, born Tsan-Usdi (Little John), was a Cherokee chief who served an unprecedented 38 years, leading his nation through some of its most challenging times, including the infamous Trail of Tears. Of mixed Scottish and Cherokee descent, he was a skilled negotiator who tirelessly fought for the rights of the Cherokee people.

WHAT HE SAID:

"Our cause is just, our people united, and with faith in the justice of the Great Spirit, we must be victorious."

WHY HE MATTERED:

John Ross is remembered for his resilient leadership and staunch defense of Cherokee sovereignty. He used every available tool, from the U.S. legal system to international diplomacy, in attempts to resist the forced relocation of his people. His leadership during the Trail of Tears, a time of great suffering and loss, exemplifies his dedication and fortitude.