Lot 143: JACKSON, ANDREW. Autograph Note Signed, "A.J.," to the Secretary of War [Benjamin F. Butler?],
01 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: TELL CHEROKEE AGENT: "WE HAVE MADE A TREATY AND WILL FULFILL IT RELIGIOUSLY" JACKSON, ANDREW. Autograph Note Signed, "A.J.," to the Secretary of War [Benjamin F. Butler?], instructing him that the administration must not recognize [John] Ross as an agent from the Cherokee Nation. 1 page, 12mo; toning, minor smudging to last line of text, all edges trimmed, folds, remnants of wax seal verso. (MRS) Np, [February 1837?]
"Referred to the Secretary of War--if Ross presents himself as an agent from the Cherokee Nation [he is] to be told at once that as such we will not recognize him--that we have made a treaty and will fulfill it religiously--we only know him as one of the Cherokee family."
Around 1833, the Cherokee people became divided about whether to resist the government's Indian removal policy. The smaller group, known as the Treaty Party, believed the best way forward was to negotiate the best possible terms, and in December of 1835, they signed the Treaty of New Echota with representatives of the U.S. government. The treaty had not been approved by the Cherokee National Council--representing all Cherokee--nor had it been approved by the National Party, led by John Ross, the largest of the groups that formed in response to the government's policy. In February of 1837, Ross and others unsuccessfully attempted to renegotiate the terms of the treaty. The U.S. ratification and enforcement of the treaty led to the forced relocation of the Cherokee from their lands in the southeast that came to be known as the Trail of Tears.