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Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) to John Ross

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01233.03 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: [Washington] Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 September 1862 Pagination: 1 p. ; 25 x 20 cm.

Protection of the Cherokee Indians against the Confederacy. Ross was the first and only elected Chief of the Cherokee Nation from the time it was formed until his death in 1866. He led the Eastern Cherokee in the "Trail of Tears" west of the Mississippi.

Basler, Roy P. The Collection Works Of Abraham Lincoln. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), Vol. V 1861 - 1862,
p. 439 - p. 440.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Sept. 25, 1862.
John Ross
Principal Chief of the
Cherokee Nation.
Your letter of the 16th. Inst. was received two days ago. In the multitude of cares claiming my constant attention I have been unable to examine and determine [strikeout] the exact treaty relations between the United States and the Cherokee Nation. Neither have I been able to investigate and determine the exact state of facts claimed by you as constituting a failure of treaty obligation on our part, excusing the Cherokee Nation for making a treaty with a portion of the people of the United States in open rebellion against the government thereof. This letter therefore, must not be understood to decide anything upon these questions. I shall, however, cause a careful investigation of them to be made. Meanwhile the Cherokee people remaining practically loyal to the federal Union will receive all the protection which can be given them consistently with the duty of the government to the whole country. I sincerely hope the Cherokee country may not again be over-run by the enemy; and I shall do all I consistently can to prevent it.
Your Obt. Servt.
A. Lincoln

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