John Ross (1790–1866) was a Cherokee chief with a Scottish father and Cherokee mother. He led the United States’ Cherokee allies against the Red Stick in the Creek War (1813–1814) and became a member of the national committee of the Cherokee Council in 1817. From 1828 until the Cherokee removal from Georgia in 1839, he was the tribe’s principal chief and led their fight against removal. He remained a chief until his death in 1866.
During the American Revolution, Savannah, Georgia, was a British stronghold in the South. The British captured Savannah in December 1778 and held it for the duration of the war despite a French and American attempt on the city in 1779. The British finally evacuated Savannah in July 1782.
On April 23, 1818, Captain Obed Wright of the Georgia militia ordered an attack on a Chehaw village, which resulted in the slaughter of several American Indians. In a letter written a week after the attack, Brigadier General Thomas Glascock reported it to his superior officer, General Andrew Jackson. Glascock’s account of the Chehaw affair is important not only for its description of how 230 militiamen killed “seven men . . . one woman and two Children” but also for how it shaped Jackson’s response to the massacre.