Encyclopedia of Arkansas Minute: Quatie Ross

Mar 1, 2019

A victim of the Trail of Tears, remembered as “a noble-hearted woman,” is buried in Little Rock’s Mount Holly Cemetery. Elizabeth “Quatie” Ross was born in seventeen ninety-one in the old Cherokee Nation, now part of Georgia.

She married Cherokee chief John Ross in 1813 and after a tribal faction signed the Treaty of New Echota, ceding their rights to their ancestral lands in the southeastern U.S., she and their children accompanied him on the passage to the Indian Territory.

Ross purchased a steamboat, the Victoria, in Alabama for the journey west and Quatie fell ill with pneumonia, reportedly after giving her blanket to a sick child, as they approached Little Rock. She died aboard the steamboat on February 1st, 1839, and was buried in Little Rock’s city cemetery.

When Mount Holly Cemetery was opened in 1843, Albert Pike had her remains moved to his family plot in the new burial ground.

To learn more, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.