American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
An Expanding Nation
  The Struggle for Western Territory (1825-1890)

John Ross House
We took our language and customs with us on a sad journey.

John Ross House
Rossville, Georgia

   John Ross, a powerful Chief of the Cherokee Nation, lived in a one-story log house on the Coosa River near Rome, Georgia. He served as spokesman to the white Georgian settlers. Georgians wanted the Cherokee land for their own, especially after gold was discovered in 1828.

  In 1830, a state law was passed to remove the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma. Chief Ross protested, but the Cherokee and four other Indian Nations lost the political battle to President Andrew Jackson. In the winter of 1838, General Winfield Scott and 7,000 government soldiers were ordered to move the Cherokees West. The Indians suffered from food shortages, illness, and exposure. Of the 17,000 Cherokees who began the trip, as many as 5,000 died along the way. The road they travelled is called the "Trail of Tears."

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