"Covers Dixie Like the Dew"

A History of Newspaper Journalism in Georgia

Cherokee Phoenix

Since the sixteenth century, Native Americans in Georgia had been contending with European colonization. Among those native groups were the Cherokees, who by the early 1800s had developed a written language and established a capital in New Echota, in what is today Gordon County. In February 1828, the Cherokees began publishing the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper published in the United States. The paper circulated nationally from their capital and included columns in both English and Cherokee languages. Editor Elias Boudinot employed a strong editorial style that advocated for the rights of Cherokee people over the impositions of the American government. The publication’s title changed to the Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate in 1829 to reflect its coverage of news and issues related to native groups outside of the Cherokee Nation. After the American government ceased making promised payments to the Cherokee Nation for the use of their land, the Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate lost its funding and stopped printing in May 1834. The American government expelled the Cherokee people from their homes in 1838, relocating them to the Indian Territory in modern-day Oklahoma, along what is commonly referred to as the Trail of Tears.