Chief John Looney

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John E Looney, Principal Chief

Birthplace: Overhills, Tellico Plains, Monroe County, Tennessee, United States
Death: Died in Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Looney and Elizabeth Looney
Husband of Susan Looney and Betsy Looney, (Adopted)
Father of Eliza Abigail Looney; Eleanor Watie; Rachel Looney; Nancy Looney; John Looney and 2 others
Half brother of Sarah Looney and Margaret "Peggy" Looney

Managed by: Hannelore Caulk Scheu
Last Updated:

About Chief John Looney

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.


John Looney (Black Fox Daughter Chippewa , Grand Priber , Susan Moytoy 
Carpenter , Moytoy III Savannah Tom , Moytoy II (Trader Tom) , Moytoy I 
(Trader) , Thomas Pasmere , Robert , Thomas ) was born in 1776 in 
Overhills, Tenase, Great Tellico. He died on 15 May 1846 in Washington, 
District Of Columbia.
John Looney married Betsy Webber daughter of (Adopted) Capt. Will Webber 
and Anitsiskwa Sarah Cherokee in 1797 in Overhills, Settico. Betsy was 
born in 1780 in Overhills, Settico. She died after 1840 in Indian Nation.
John and Betsy had the following children:
Rachel Looney was born in 1798 in Tennessee. She died in 1867 in Indian 
Nation, Oklahoma.
Rachel married John Knave. John was born in 1814 in Indian Nation. He 
died in 1847 in Indian Nation.
Eliza Abigal Looney was born in 1800 in Tennessee. She died in 1867 in 
Indian Nation, Oklahoma.
Eliza married Daniel Rattlinggourd. Daniel was born in 1818 in Indian 
Nation. He died in 1864 in Indian Nation, Oklahoma.
Betsy Looney was born estimated 1801 in Tennessee. She died in 1871 in 
Huntington, Lorain, Ohio.
Betsy married Christopher R. Sage. Christopher was born in 1801 in 
Tennessee. He died in 1868 in Huntington, Lorain, Ohio.
Eleanor Looney was born in 1804 in Tennessee. She died in 1833 in Georgia.
Eleanor married Elias (Stand) Watie son of David (Oowatie) Watie and 
Susannah Reese. Elias was born on 12 Dec 1806 in Rome, Georgia. He died 
on 9 Sep 1871 in Honey Creek, Delaware County, Oklahoma. [Notes]
Nancy Looney was born in 1806 in Tennessee. She died in 1847 in Pulaski 
County, Arkansas.
Nancy married Vincent Guess. Vincent was born in 1802 in Bath, North 
Carolina. He died in 1849 in Pulaski County, Arkansas. [Notes]
view all 11

Chief John Looney's Timeline

North Carolina
Tellico Plains, Monroe County, Tennessee, United States
Age 34
Tennessee, United States
Age 36
Tennessee, United States
Age 42
Tennessee, United States
Age 46
Tennessee, United States
May 16, 1846
Age 64
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Tennessee, United States