About John Looney, Principal Chief
John Looney was the last person elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation West by the whole tribe, and that was his second election to that office. He was first elected to succeed John Jolly after the latter died 28 December 1838 and was deposed 22 April 1839 after the tribe elected John Brown to effect a union with the Latecomers from the Cherokee Nation East after the Cherokee removal of 1838-1839.
He was elected to the office again in July when Brown and his officers were deposed for having failed to accomplish that task, only to leave office again the next month when the reunited Cherokee Nation elected John Ross, with Joseph Vann as his assistant principal chief.
A dissident group of former members of the Cherokee Nation West elected John Rogers as their principal chief in October, but their efforts to maintain a separate organization fell apart the following year.
Looney was married to Betsy, daughter of Will Weber, the mixed-blood headman of Willstown during the Chickamauga wars. He was also the father-in-law of Stand Watie.