We are a Chattanooga, Tennessee, chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR). The chapter was founded in 1923 with 55 members. In the beginning of the chapter, a name was voted on and declared to be Chief John Ross, named after the Principal Chief of the Cherokees. In 2023, our chapter will celebrate its 100th anniversary with more than 150 members. We are honored to belong to a chapter named after Chief John Ross. Our chapter history is full of women who were dedicated in achieving the goals of the National and State societies since 1923.
HONORING CHIEF JOHN ROSS, CHATTANOOGA’S FOUNDER
Chief John Ross, who died August 1, 1866, in Washington, D. C., is remembered for his historic fight to prevent the Cherokee Removal, including a successful U. S. Supreme Court challenge. Unfortunately, Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision was not enforced by President Andrew Jackson, and Chief Ross was forced to work with government officials in implementing the plan that would move the Cherokees to Oklahoma Territory after their lands had been seized by the Georgia government.
Son of Daniel Ross, a Scotsman, and his wife, Mollie McDonald, both Scots and Cherokee, Lieutenant John Ross and the Cherokee Brigade had gained fame after joining Major General Andrew Jackson’s forces at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the War of 1812. From 1819 to 1826, Chief Ross served as president of the Cherokee National Council as the Cherokee became more integrated into U. S. society as farm owners, education-oriented, and participants in their own representative government. In 1828, Chief Ross became principal chief of the Cherokee Nation under a constitution that he had helped draft. When he refused to sell Cherokee lands and force his people to relocate to the Oklahoma Territory, his fight was met with force by Georgia officials and a refusal by his former wartime colleague to intercede. Chief Ross was imprisoned for a period and, during one of his absences to Washington, D.C., to fight for Cherokee recognition, his family was forced from their home and his lands confiscated.
By 1838-39, Chief Ross had no choice but to execute the removal process in a difficult journey later recognized by the Cherokee as the Trail of Tears. Upon reaching the west, Chief Ross was instrumental in the creation of a new 1839 Cherokee Constitution and would be reaffirmed as chief under the new government, a position he would hold for the remainder of his life.
– “Honoring Chief John Ross, Chattanooga’s Founder”, The Chattanoogan, February 9, 2021, Linda Moss Mines, Hamilton County Historian and Honorary Regent