As new immigrants arrived in America and some families began to move westward into areas populated mainly by native Indians, tensions between the Indians and the settlers became a very important issue. Eventually, the Cherokees and other tribes were forced to go to the Oklahoma Indian Territory. A remnant of the Cherokees fled to the mountains and hid there until the forced removal was finished. Then those who were left behind, pleaded with the U.S. Government to allow them to remain in their homes in the East. Many settlers supported them and eventually their request was approved and they became known as the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Those removed to Oklahoma came to be know as the Western Band Cherokees.
In 1843 several men living around Quallah signed a letter supporting their Cherokee neighbors in their attempt to stay in the east and not be forced to go to Oklahoma. Note that a J. T. Penland was among the signators.