Major Ridge, The Ridge was a Cherokee leader, a member of the tribal council, and a lawmaker. As a warrior, he fought in the Cherokee–American wars against American frontiersmen. Later, Major Ridge led the Cherokee in alliances with General Andrew Jackson and the United States in the Creek and Seminole wars of the early 19th century.
Along with Charles R. Hicks and James Vann, Ridge was part of the "Cherokee triumvirate," a group of rising younger chiefs in the early nineteenth-century Cherokee Nation who supported acculturation and other changes in how the people dealt with the United States. All identified as Cherokee; they were of mixed race and had some exposure to European-American culture. Ridge became a wealthy planter, slave owner, and ferryman in Georgia.
Under increasing pressure for removal from the federal government, Ridge and others of the Treaty Party signed the controversial Treaty of New Echota of 1835. They believed removal was inevitable and tried to protect Cherokee rights in the process. It required the Cherokee to cede their remaining lands in the Southeast to the US and to relocate to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.