Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

On Sunday, April 28, at 2 pm, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will present a special one-hour program highlighting the life of Elias Boudinot.

He was the first editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper printed in both Cherokee and English through the early 1800s, as well as an ardent supporter of Cherokee removal to the west.

This program will begin at the Brown’s Ferry Federal Road trailhead located on Moccasin Bend (707 Moccasin Bend Road, Chattanooga). “Special event” signs will also help direct participants from Manufacturers Road to the trailhead.

Boudinot was born with the given name Gallegina Watie in 1802. He was raised in the Cherokee Nation before moving to Connecticut to finish his education at the Foreign Mission School for children from American Indian cultures. Upon return to the Cherokee nation, he perceived the resolve of the United States government to acquire remaining Cherokee land. This prompted Boudinot to advocate for Cherokee to voluntarily forfeit their land before they were forced to do so.

Boudinot straddled two cultures and was forced to choose a side during one of the most tumultuous times of American Indian relations with the United States. His decision to support the sale of Cherokee lands to the United States, the catalyst for the Trail of Tears, led to his move to the west and his subsequent death at the hands of anti-Treaty Cherokee in 1839.