William Potter Ross (August 28, 1820 – July 20, 1891), also known as Will Ross, was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Born to a Scottish father and a mixed-blood Cherokee mother (the sister of future chief John Ross), he was raised in a bilingual home. He also attended English-speaking schools. He attended Princeton University, where he graduated first in his class in 1844.
Will served in
several different roles in the Cherokee Nation. By then, his uncle had
been elected as principal chief. Will became clerk of the Cherokee
Senate in 1843. He became the founder and editor of the Cherokee
Advocate Later, he was appointed director of the Cherkee Male and Female
seminaries, then served as Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation.
He was chosen by the National Council on October 19, 1866 and served for
several months until the election in 1867. He was later elected to
succeed Lewis Downing, and served from 1872 to 1875. After his term
ended, Will Ross retired to Fort Gibson, where he became a merchant and
practiced law. He died there on July 20, 1891.
( Federal Lodge 1, Washington, DC)