The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 543
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lection found by Dr. Dale several years ago in some old trunks
which had been stored in an attic and forgotten. They now form
a part of the Frank Phillips Collection of Southwestern History
at the University of Oklahoma. Other letters included are from
the Stand Watie Papers in The University of Texas Library, the
Library of Northeastern College, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and the
private collection of Professor T. L. Ballenger of the last-named
institution. In collaboration with Gaston Litton, of the National
Archives, Dr. Dale has brought them together with the necessary
annotation to make a connected story of the minority leaders in
the Cherokee Nation during the period of removal, tribal civil war,
the White Man's Quarrel, and the beginnings of reconstruction.
During the forty years of Cherokee history recorded in this
collection of letters, John Ross, of Scotch ancestry, served as
principal chief and largely directed the destiny of the Nation.
He was opposed by a minority group who differed on the question
of removal. This group believed that the salvation of their people
lay in surrendering their lands in the East and moving west of
the Mississippi. Its leaders were four men whose letters form
a large part of the volume under consideration. They were Major
Ridge, his son John Ridge, and Major Ridge's nephews, two
brothers known respectively as Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie.
Major Ridge was possessed of a great native intelligence and high
qualities of leadership. John Ridge and Elias Boudinot were both
highly educated. Stand Watie received only a fair education at
a Moravian mission school in Tennessee. He was a man of action,
a born leader, and proved himself a brave and hardy soldier of
real ability. The Ridge-Watie-Boudinot faction was the object
of the intense hatred of the Ross group. After removal to the
Indian Territory there was an era of civil strife which was not
settled until 1846. Then came the Civil War. The Confederacy'
sent General Albert Pike to Indian Territory as commissioner to
the Indian Nations. Again the tribe split. Stand Watie and his
followers were sympathetic toward the South, while a larger ele-
ment favored the North. John Ross, after unsuccessfully attempt-
ing to maintain a position of neutrality, however, signed a treaty
of alliance with Pike. This alliance was repudiated by his faction
in 1863, after Ross had gone to Philadelphia to live.
Stand Watie and his followers remained in the Confederacy
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/579/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.