Elias Boudinot's Dispossession

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One of the greatest disillusionment’s to our understanding of the Native American experience is the belief that the rise of the modern United States caused the destruction of the Indians’ culture. American expansion didn’t eradicate the Indians, moreover the virulent new diseases that came through contact, American troops forcing tribes at gunpoint to leave their settlements, and other ways the “civilization” process pushed the nineteenth century into dispossession. From the 1700-1938, the public arena of the debate of assimilation helped get information out into the public eye. Whether the debates were formed through non-Native Americans or Native, the final outcomes were put into essays, letters, pamphlets, speeches, drawings, and other…show more content…
The newspaper kept its readers informed about national and international events, and most importantly, it conveyed the Cherokees true situation to the Nations citizens. As an “official” organ of the Cherokee Nation, the newspaper presented the Nations case against removal. However, Elias Boudinot began to change his views on removal, the principal chief did not allow open discussion, so Boudinot resigned. The question remains as “What impact did the Law have on the Phoenix?” Elias Boudinot’s view on the Cherokee’s survival is “to yield to circumstances on which they had no control” and relinquish ownership of the land, despite of what John Ross said, as well as convincing the Cherokees that removal was the only course left (Boudinot). Since no elections could occur to have candidates represent either side on the issue, no forum existed. The Phoenix had ceased publication in 1834, but as an organ from the federal government, its columns had always been closed for debate (Perdue and Green). While the Cherokee Phoenix was in publication, it was mainly used as a propaganda tool used to persuade the larger society of the strides toward becoming a more “civilized”, while also being a source for its local readers. Other news related sources circulated in the Nation, but public Cherokee debate was small and slim. Of course, the…show more content…
Many magazine writers were educated and “assimilated” Indians who, like progressive reformers, sought to humanize and democratize life for the benefit of their community. Writers during this time period, versus the earlier, tended to focus more on policy issues, as well as cultural concerns, such as education, religion, and racial stereotypes. Many educated Indians didn’t know if wearing traditional clothing would provoke the wrong “savage” response from non-Native Americans. The Chicago World’s fair, organized to celebrate the voyage of Christopher Columbus to America, opened up with a speech given by Simon Pokagon, a survivalist of the “American onslaught the fair had been organized to celebrate” (Perdue and Green). The speech Pokagon gave, called “The Red Man’s Greeting”, demonstrated his voice on the matter of why he wont be celebrating the day “over the graves of [the nations] departed” (Pokagon). The way Pokagon used the public arena was not only to speak to the Natives, but also to let the Americans understand that “civilization” had been put at the price of the destruction of the Native lifestyle. Pokagon “printed his speech on birchbark, that he and his [lawyer] sold at his lectures and public appearances.” His letters continued to circulate among the tribes and the Nation, even

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