Ross, John (1790–1866), an American Indian chief. Although only one-eighth Indian, Ross was chief of the Cherokee nation from 1839 until his death. He was born near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. In the War of 1812 he fought with a Cherokee regiment under General Andrew Jackson. In 1828 Ross was chosen chief of the eastern Cherokees.
Ross bitterly but unsuccessfully opposed every effort by the United States to move his tribe westward. In 1839 he led his people to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and was chosen chief of all Cherokee tribes. During the Civil War, Ross advised neutrality but the Cherokees joined with the Confederacy and Indian Territory was invaded by the Union army.