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Object ID 1987.010.001
Object Name Document, Legal
Scope & Content 6 page legal brief.

In 1873 the Eastern Band of Cherokees brought suit against Thomas, Johnston, and Terrell in an effort to force an accounting of the money Thomas had received as the Cherokees' representative from 1836 to 1861--money he used to buy lands for the tribe. The land had remained in his name and was sold because of his indebtedness. Johnston was codefendant because he had taken sheriffs' titles to the land, well realizing the Indians' equitable interest. Terrell had served as Cherokee disbursing agent between 1853 and 1861 and allegedly had transferred money to Thomas.

In 1874 all parties involved agreed to submit the matters to binding arbitration by three prominent Carolinians: Rufus Barringer, John H. Dillard, and Thomas Ruffin. On 23 October 1874 the arbitrators found that Thomas had indeed acquired thousands of acres over the years for the Indians, in part with their money and in part with his. Almost all of the Qualla Boundary, amounting to some 73,000 acres, had been purchased for them as a tribe.

For more information regarding this legal action by the Eastern Band see John R. Finger, Eastern Band of Cherokees 1819-1900 (call no. E99.C5 F56 1984 ) in Archives library.
Catalog type Archive
Title Eastern Band vs William H. Thomas
Collection Eastern Band vs William H. Thomas
Lexicon category 8: Communication Artifact