The following is a short history of Major Ridge and the Cherokee Constitution. The Cherokee are a Native American people originally indigenous to the Southeastern United States including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Carolinas. On July 4, 1827, after decades of political developments, the Cherokee nation adopted a national constitution modeled after the United States with three branches of government and Bill of Rights. Ten years early, Major Ridge, a Cherokee Chief, helped establish the Laws Against Cherokee Land Sales which became a capital offense to sell off ancestral lands without approval from the National Council.
On May 28, 1830, Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the president to pursue ownership of all Indian lands east of the Mississippi River.
In February, 1835, after mounting political pressure, a small fraction of Cherokees, labeled the Treaty Party and led by Major Ridge, sold all of the Cherokee's territories to the U.S. for $4.5 million. This caused chaos among the Cherokee people.