Until the end of the Chickamauga wars, he was known as Nung-Noh-Tah-Hee, meaning "He Who Slays The Enemy In His Path" or Pathkiller (not the same as the chief). After the war, he changed his name to what the English version simplifies as "The Ridge" (as did Bloody Fellow to Clear Sky). He acquired the title "Major" in 1814, during his service leading Cherokees alongside General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the Creek War. He also joined Jackson in the First Seminole War in 1818, leading Cherokees against the Seminole Indians. After the war, Ridge became a wealthy planter and slave owner of African Americans. Major Ridge married Sehoyah (Susannah Catherine Wickett), daughter of Ar-tah-ku-ni-sti-sky ("Wickett") and Kate Parris, about 1800.
Ridge, his family, and many other Cherokees emigrated to the West soon after the treaty. The terms of the treaty were strictly enforced, and those Cherokees (and their African American slaves) who remained on tribal lands in the East were forcibly rounded up by the U.S. government in 1838, and began a journey popularly known as the "Trail of Tears".
In the West, the Ross faction blamed Ridge and the other signers of the Treaty of New Echota for the hardships of removal. In June 1839, Major Ridge, his son John, and nephew Elias Boudinot, were assassinated by Cherokees of the Ross faction to remove them as political rivals and to intimidate the political establishment of the Old Settlers, which the Ridge faction had joined. Ridge's nephew Stand Watie, the future Confederate general in the Civil War, was also targeted for assassination, but escaped, and during the war also served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation after Ross and the Union-supporters withdrew.
Ridge and his son are buried along with Stand Watie in Polson Cemetery in Delaware County, OK.
Judge rules against hillside home decision: DANVILLE: Council may have to allow a Skyvilla home to be built on a major ridge line, violating its five-year act.
Sep 18, 2007; Byline: Lea Blevins Sep. 18--The Danville Town Council may have to approve an appeal it previously denied, thus allowing a...