Elias Boudinot (1802 - 1839) MP

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Nicknames: "Buck", "Gallegina", "Kilakeena", "Watie"
Birthplace: Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation, Georgia, United States
Death: Died in Indian Territory, United States
Cause of death: Attacked and stabbed to death
Occupation: Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix.
Managed by: Jack Mayo
Last Updated:

About Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot (1802–June 22, 1839) was a Cherokee Indian who started and edited the tribe's first newspaper. He was born in Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation (now Calhoun, Georgia) as Gallegina Watie (also known as "Buck" Watie or Buck Oowatie), edited the Cherokee Phoenix in the New Echota, and died in Oklahoma. Gallegina means Deer; therefore, he was called "Buck" Watie before changing his name. He took the name "Elias Boudinot" from the man who paid for his education. The newspaper he edited, The Cherokee Phoenix, was the first Indian newspaper in the country. He was a missionary who translated the New Testament Bible and hymns into Cherokee with the help of a missionary friend, Samuel A. Worcester.

Boudinot and the Cherokee Nation

Boudinot was part of a prominent Cherokee family, the son of David Watie (Uwati), brother of Stand Watie, nephew of Major Ridge and cousin of John Ridge. He was also, allegedly, a descendant of Attacullaculla and the chiefs of Chota-Tanasi. Boudinot, the Ridges, John Ross, Charles R. Hicks, and his son, Elijah Hicks formed the ruling elite of the Cherokee Nation, which came to believed that rapid acculturation was critical to Cherokee surivial. Elias' Cherokee Phoenix published partially in Sequoyah's syllabary, but mostly in English, was meant to showcase Cherokee "civilization" including New Echota, the capital.

The United States, particularly the state of Georgia, despite professed aims of "civilizing" the Cherokee by moving them westwards, were only interested in the land the Cherokee occupied. White settlers began to encroach on Cherokee land through violence and quasi-legal actions such as the Georgia land lottery. The Cherokees' defense of their land climaxed in two Supreme Court cases argued by former United States attorney general William Wirt: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia. Although the Supreme Court acknowledged the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation, President Andrew Jackson refused to take action that would force Georgia to abide by the Court's decision.

Boudinot and John Ridge's thinking on relations with the United States were profoundly effected by an unusual meeting in May 1832 with Supreme Court Justice John McLean, in which McLean advocated removal to the Indian Territory and ultimate entry into the United States. On August 1, 1832, Boudinot resigned as editor of the Cherokee Phoenix after Ross refused to allow Boudinot to write editorials which suggested removal as an option for the nation.

Cherokee removal

In May 1834, Boudinot, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Andrew Ross, brother of John Ross, collectively the "Ridge Party," met with John H. Eaton, secretary of war with the goal of signing a treaty of removal. Unable to bridge their differences with anti-removal forces, the Ridge Party signed the Treaty of New Echota on December 29, 1835.

Death

Elias Boudinot, Major Ridge and John Ridge were assassinated in 1839 by members of the Ross faction, who stabbed them to death. The three had joined the established political structure of the Old Settlers, those who had emigrated prior to the Treaty of New Echota, and their murders cleared the way for the Ross people to step in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Boudinot_(Cherokee)

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Elias Boudinot's Timeline

1802
1802
Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation, Georgia, United States
1817
1817
Age 15
Cornwall, Connecticut, United States

In 1817 young Gallegina was invited to attend the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions school in Cornwall, Connecticut. On his journey there, Gallegina was introduced to Elias Boudinot, the aged president of the American Bible Society, and adopted his name in deference and tribute.

1825
1825
Age 23

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-626
Earlier in the spring of 1826 Boudinot had embarked on a national speaking tour to elicit financial, spiritual, and political support for the Cherokee Nation's continuing progress in the "arts of civilization."

1826
March 28, 1826
Age 24
1826
Age 24

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-626
His pamphlet, "An Address to the Whites" (1826), was based on a speech he made in Philadelphia.

1827
May 4, 1827
Age 25
1828
February 20, 1828
- 1832
Age 26

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-626
By 1827 the General Council of the Cherokee Nation was able to purchase a printing press and Cherokee typeface for the publication of a national newspaper, with Elias Boudinot as its editor. The groundbreaking first issue of the bilingual periodical, known as the Cherokee Phoenix, appeared on February 21, 1828. Boudinot pledged to print the official documents of the Nation and tracts on religion and temperance, as well as local and international news.

October 5, 1828
Age 26
1830
February 4, 1830
Age 28
1832
February 24, 1832
Age 30