19. Elias Boudinot to John Ross, 1 August 1832
According to the intimation I gave you some time since, I hereby tender to you my resignation as editor of the Cherokee Phoenix. In taking this step it may not be necessary to give my reasons in full; it is however, due to you, to myself, and my countrymen, to avoid misrepresentations, to state the following:
1. I believe the continuation of the Phoenix, and my services as its editor, have answered all the purposes that it can be expected to answer hereafter. Two of the great objects which the nation had in view in supporting the paper were, the defence of our rights, and the proper representation of our grievances to the people of the United States. In regard to the former, we can add nothing to the full and thorough investigation that has taken place, especially after the decision of the Supreme Court, which has forever closed the question of our conventional rights. In regard to the latter, we can say nothing which will have more effect upon the community, than what we have already said. The public is as fully apprised as we can ever expect it to be, of our grievances. It is engrossed in other local and sectional interests.
2. The two great and important objects of the paper not now existing as heretofore, and the nation being in great want of funds, it is unnecessary to continue the expenses in supporting it.
3. Were I to continue as editor, I should feel myself in a most peculiar and delicate situation. I do not know whether I could, at the same time, satisfy my own views, and the views of the authorities of the nation. My situation would then be as embarrassing a it would be peculiar and delicate. I do conscientiously believe it to be the duty of every citizen to reflect upon the dangers with which we are surrounded; to view the darkness which seems to lie before our people - our prospects, and the evils with which we are threatened; to talk over all these matters, and, if possible, come to some definite and satisfactory conclusion, while there is time, as to what ought to be done in the last alternative. I could not consent to be the conductor of the paper without having the right and privilege of discussing these important matter; and from what I have seen and heard, were I to assume that privilege, my usefulness would be paralyzed by being considered, as I have already been, an enemy to the interests of my country and people. I love my country and I love my people, as my own heart bears me witness, and for that very reason I should deem it my duty to tell them the whole truth, or what I believe to be the truth. I cannot tell them that we will be reinstated in our rights, when I have no such hope, and after our leading, active, and true friends in Congress, and elsewhere, have signified to us that they can do us no good.
4. I have been now more than four years in the service of the nation, and my inclination is to retire from the arduous duties in which I have been engaged, and which have been far from being beneficial to my health and happiness, except the happiness of doing good, and being useful to my country. When, therefore, the chance of usefulness, in my present employment, is in a great measure lessened, the inclination to retire is increased.
I hope the foregoing reasons, stated in a few words, will be sufficient to guard me against misapprehension and misrepresentations which may likely arise from the step I have taken. Let me again assure you that I love my country and my people, and I pray God that the evils which we so much fear may be averted from us by His merciful interposition. I have the honor to be, sir, Yours, very respectful,
19. Elias Boudinot to John Ross, 1 Aug 1832, in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of Chief John Ross vol. 1 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985), 247-48.