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This Day in Georgia History

August 01, 1866

John Ross Died

Cherokee chief John Ross died in Washington, D.C. Born in Turkey Town in the Cherokee Nation, Ross was only one-eighth Cherokee. By the early 1800s, he had established a ferry and warehouse business on the Tennessee River known as Ross’s Landing (site of present-day Chattanooga). In the 1820s, Ross moved to Head of Coosa, the point marking the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers which later became Rome, Georgia. In 1828, Ross was elected principal chief of the Cherokees, in which capacity he unsuccessfully fought efforts by the federal government and Georgia to move the Cherokees from their homeland to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. During the Civil War, he and his family moved to Washington, D.C., where they were living at the time of his death.