Elias Boudinot

b. ca. 1802, Oothcaloga, GA .... d. 22 June 1839, Park Hill, Cherokee Nation West

Journalist; statesman

Elias Boudinot was founding editor of the first Native American newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, launched in 1828. At the time, the Cherokee faced immense challenges to their survival as a distinct nation and culture; including pressures to abandon their Appalachian homeland. Cultural innovations included Sequoyah’s invention of the first Native American written alphabet, paving the way for Boudinot to publish writings in the Cherokee language. Boudinot remains a controversial figure. While claiming to advocate for the Cherokee national interest, the Christian-educated editor strongly promoted assimilation with white society, rather than the preservation of Cherokee traditions. He ultimately played a leading role in enabling US authorities to drive the Cherokee out of the southeast, on the disastrous Trail of Tears. Boudinot is nevertheless remembered as a trailblazing journalist.

See also:
online archives (English)


The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey