Jesse Bushyhead

Jesse Bushyhead

The Reverend Jesse Bushyhead (1804–1844) was a Cherokee religious and political leader.[1] He was born in southeastern Tennessee. As a young man, he was ordained a Baptist minister. A member of the John Ross faction of the Cherokees, he was dispatched by Ross in 1837 on a mission to the Seminoles. Although he opposed the policy of removal to the west, he accepted the inevitable and led a party of about 1,000 people on the Trail of Tears. On his arrival in 1839 near present-day Westville, Oklahoma, he established the Baptist Mission, which marked the end of the Trail of tears. He became chief justice of the Cherokee nation in 1840 and remained in that office until his death.

Rev. Jesse Bushyhead Grave

Bushyhead, Rev. Jesse, Grave
Jesse Bushyhead is located in Oklahoma
Nearest city: Westville, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36°2′8″N 94°34′58″W / 36.03556°N 94.58278°W / 36.03556; -94.58278Coordinates: 36°2′8″N 94°34′58″W / 36.03556°N 94.58278°W / 36.03556; -94.58278
Area: less than one acre
Built: 1844
Governing body: Private
MPS: Cherokee Trail of Tears MPS
NRHP Reference#:


Added to NRHP: December 06, 2004

Jesse Bushyhead's grave at the Baptist Mission Cemetery is marked by a 15-foot-tall (4.6 m) marble monument. His grave is the only surviving property associated with his life, and as such is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ Balmer, Randall Herbert, 2004, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism, Baylor University Press, ISBN 1-932792-04-X, p. 115
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.