Together with his father and Boudinot, Ridge signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 after final negotiations with a delegation in Washington, . They were part of the National Council's delegation, headed by Principal Chief John Ross, who still was trying to negotiate staying in the East. Since the treaty surrendered all Cherokee land east of the Mississippi River, the opposing Ross faction, known as the National Party, regarded the Treaty Party representatives as traitors. Despite the known divisions within the tribe and the lack of signature by the Principal Chief Ross, the US Senate ratified the treaty. President Jackson used it to justify the forcible Cherokee removal in 1838, in what is now known as the Trail of Tears .