"FOR SUPPLIES FURNISHED TO THE FEMALE SEMINARY…": EXCEPTIONAL ORIGINAL SIGNED AUTOGRAPH LETTER FROM CHEROKEE NATION CHIEF JOHN ROSS TO HIS BROTHER, NATIONAL TREASURER LEWIS ROSS, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO THE CHEROKEE FEMALE SEMINARY FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES
ROSS, John. Autograph letter signed. [Oklahoma], March 6, 1857. Single sheet of lined blue paper, measuring 7-3/4 by 6-3/4 inches; pp. 2. $3000.
Wonderful signed autograph letter, dated 1857, from Cherokee Nation Chief John Ross directing his brother, National Treasurer Lewis Ross, to pay John Ross's general store partner and brother-in-law John Stapler for school supplies given to the Cherokee Female Seminary.
The signed autograph letter, dated "Executive Department, March 6th, 1857" and written entirely in John Ross' hand to his brother, National Treasurer Lewis Ross Esq., reads in full: "Will pay to the order of John W. Stapler the sum of Eleven Dollars & Seven cents out of the School fund for supplies furnished the Female Seminary —— in the hands of H.D. Reese Steward, and for Requisition of Wm.P. Ross Clk of the Board of Directors & this shall be your warrant for the same—$11.7/100. Yours Truly Jno Ross." John Ross was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, dubbed "the Moses of his people" by one prominent journalist. Ross led his people through some of the most traumatic events of the time, including both the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. Here, he is ordering his brother, National Treasurer Lewis Ross, to release funds to his brother-in-law and general store co=owner, John Stapler, for school supplies provided to the Cherokee Female Seminary. The seminary was opened by the tribal council in 1851 near Park Hill, Oklahoma. While the seminary (boarding school) was originally staffed almost entirely by Americans of European descent who did not provide instruction in the Cherokee language or culture, the Cherokee Female Seminary quickly became a center for intellectual life in the Cherokee Nation. Prior to burning down in 1887, the seminary was a leader in producing academically inclined Cherokee women, many of whom went on to become leaders in their community. From the collection of William Wheeler III, a distinguished American history collector. Autograph annotation marking same-day receipt of the letter.
Small ink splotch and faint soiling to closely trimmed letter, a bit of wear to edges not affecting text. Near-fine condition.