Elias Boudinot: Hero or Heretic?
Elias Boudinot, the original editor of the Cherokee Phoenix and Ridge Party member, is the main topic of discussion and analysis. His rationality that led to the ceding of Cherokee land in 1835 is superficially arbitrary; did he exercise proper and rational judgment for the good of the Indians, or rather out of clumsiness? Boudinot had a heavy influence in the removal process of the Indians and acted as a mediator between policy and the dissemination of these policies to the people of Georgia – Indians and Americans alike – in the years from 1829 to 1832. This pathfinder seeks to establish the reason for Boudinot’s volition to cede Cherokee land, and if this reason was without neglect to possible immediate negative effects for the Indians. Boudinot’s published stances and his personal letters to correspondents in regards to the removal process of the Indians are of particular scrutiny in this study. By clarifying Boudinot’s ostensible motives through the study of these articles and epistolary exchanges, this analysis will evaluate his rationale from which the justice of Boudinot’s assassination in 1839 will be derived.
Boudinot, Elias. Cherokee Editor: The
Writings of Elias Boudinot. Ed. Theda Perdue. Knoxville: University of Tennessee
This source has impeccable information; this source contains primary editorials, pamphlets, articles, and letters all in which were written by Boudinot himself. Perdue has done rigorous scholarly work in gathering the editorials from the Cherokee Phoenix. This source was referenced in The Trail of Tears and Indian Removal, by Amy Sturgis, and was consequentially located at The University of Texas Library PCL Stacks in Austin, Texas. This source may also be referred to through Google Books.
Parins, James W. Elias Cornelius Boudinot: A
Life on the Cherokee Border. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
This source contains a short biography of Elias Boudinot with a focus on the years when Cherokee removal conflicts and political actions dictated his life. Parins’s work focuses on Elias Cornelius Boudinot, the son of Elias Boudinot, so should not be used as a foundation for detailed scholarly biography of the Cherokee Phoenix editor. This work was primarily written for scholars of the son of Elias Boudinot, not the Cherokee Phoenix editor. This book was referred to through The University of Texas Library PCL Stacks in Austin, Texas. It may also be referred to through Google Books.
Wilkins, Thurman. Cherokee Tragedy: The Story of the Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People. London: The Macmillan Company, 1970.
This source is written primarily about John Ridge, who was a member of the Treaty Party with Boudinot, and Ridge’s family. Wilkins delves into the relationship between Ridge and Boudinot, providing great detail in the process. Cherokee Tragedy also provides ample information on Ridge’s political dilemma regarding the removal of the Cherokee. This book is located at The University of Texas PCL Stacks in Austin, Texas. This book can also be referred to through Google Books.
Researcher: Kendall Gray