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The Indian Advocate 233
the common necessaries of life. Had he been dishonest, the opportunities for immense wealth were constantly within his reach. Ross was of mixed Scotch and Indian blood on both side, and a descendant of the two great Scottish families Ross and Stuart. The late chief's unexpired term was filled by his nephew, W. P. Ross, an eminent scholar, but uncom promising in disposition. When asked by Stand Watie's rep resentative at Fort Smith, if the Southern Cherokees might return to their homes in peace, he answered: "No; never can you or your people come back to live on an equal footing with the loyal Cherokees; you who have raided and pillaged your own people." Louis Downing, who was present, and who had held the office of lieutenant-colonel in the Union army, was asked his opinion by Stand Watie's emissary. "If you were chief, Mr. Downing, would you take us back among our people?" to which the latter replied: "I would gladly welcome you back as brothers who had gone astray, and for get the past. The war is over, and we are too few in num bers to stand apart. Yes, I would certainly bid you return to your people." The nature of this reply spread like wild fire. The exiles, on their return, nominated Downing as their candidate for chief although a member of the opposite or loyal party, and he was elected by a large majority. After serving one term and a half in office, Louis Downing died, and W. P. Ross, who had the majority in both houses, was elected to fill the unexpired term. Charles Thompson was the next candidate on the Ridge or Southern party ticket, and defeated Ross for two terms. He was succeeded by Bushy head, who was also elected over Ross for two consecutive terms. Joel Mayes was the next representative of the party, and he also scored two victories over Ross, who, despite the fact of his being the ablest man in the nation, could not se cure a seat in the executive chair. Fitted in every respect to govern his people, fate seemed against him, and he was denied the one ambition of his life.