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This Day in Georgia History

October 03, 1790

John Ross Born

Cherokee chief John Ross was born in Turkey Town (near present-day Center, Alabama) in the Cherokee Nation. Born of a white father, and a three-quarter white mother, Ross had only limited Cherokee blood. He received a white education, but chose to live with the Cherokees. In the early 1800s, he settled on the Tennessee River at the present-day site of Chattanooga, where he ran a ferry and warehouse at a site known as Ross’s Landing. Later, he became a wealthy planter and in 1827 moved to Georgia. At the confluence of the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers, he founded the community known as Head of Coosa at the present-day site of Rome. After the Cherokees established their national capital at New Echota, Ross was elected as principal chief of the Cherokees. In this capacity, he vainly fought U.S. and Georgia efforts to move the Cherokees to the West. Ross died during a visit to Washington, D.C. on August 1, 1866.