Elias Boudinot Biography


(Native Americans: A Comprehensive History)

Article abstract: Elias Boudinot was editor of, and a frequent contributor to, the Cherokee newspaper, the{$I{I}Cherokee Phoenix{/I}} Cherokee Phoenix; he collaborated in translating parts of the New Testament into Cherokee and was a signer of the{$INew Echota, Treaty of} Treaty of New Echota.

Elias Boudinot was born Galegina or Kilakeena Watie in northwestern Georgia in 1803, to a full-blooded Cherokee father and a half-blood mother. He became a Christian and attended the Moravian mission school at Spring Place. Upon graduation in 1818, he and his cousin John Ridge, with Leonard Hicks, enrolled at the Foreign Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut. At this time, Galegina adopted the name Elias Boudinot from one of the benefactors of the school.

After graduation, Boudinot attended the Andover Theological Seminary. When he became engaged to Harriet Gold of Cornwall, townspeople hostile to racial intermarriage burned them in effigy, but Harriet married Elias on March 28, 1826. They had six children, one of whom (Elias Cornelius Boudinot) became a noted lawyer. En route back to Georgia, Boudinot delivered a notable address at the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia in which he spoke of the progress and prosperity of the Cherokees and their desire to live in friendship with their white neighbors. Part of that progress was Sequoyah's devising an eighty-six-character syllabary, which soon enabled many Cherokees to read and write their own language. Consequently, the Cherokees started a newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix,...

(The entire section is 644 words.)