1829 - 1896

by Helen Currie Davis, Millington, TN gertrude2@juno.com

William Penn Boudinot third child born to Elias and Harriet Ruggles Gold Boudinot was aptly named for an old friend of his father. Elias, who was the editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, had followed with interest his friend, Jeremiah Evarts series of twenty-four essays written for the National Intelligencer, on the Present Crisis in the Condition of the American Indians. Jeremiah had used the pseudonym, "William Penn." The child so aptly named would follow in the footsteps of his father and Jeremiah Evarts.

William was just a young boy of seven when his mother died. At the age of ten his father, Elias, was murdered. When Delight Sargent, second wife of Elias, and the children moved back East they lost annuities and tribal rights.

William received an education at the Gunnery. He lived for a time with his maternal grandmother, Eleanor Johnson Gold of Cornwall, CT.

Around 1844 when William was 14 years of age he lived in Philadelphia, PA engraving with one of his cousins. He enjoyed the business he was in. He spent time between Washington, CT and Philadelphia, PA as he states in a letter dated 1848 to his Uncle Stand Watie. He was doing well in the engraving business but blamed poor eyesight and health for not presuing the business. I believe it was his hearts desire to go back to his home in the Cherokee Nation.

During the period of time between April 26, 1848 when William was living in Philadelphia and March 13, 1850 he has moved to Ft. Smith, Arkansas. He's listed on the 1851 Drennen Roll as living alone. The time between his arrival in the Cherokee Nation West and his marriage to Caroline he had a relationship with Eleanor "Ellen" Reese. Ellen was his first cousin once removed. This union produced one child, Emma Inez. Emma was my great great grandmother.

He married in 1853 in Park Hill, Indian Territory (now Cherokee Co., OK) Caroline Matilda Rogers Fields, daughter of Thomas Fields and Nannie Rogers Downing. Caroline was educated at Dwight Mission School. They were the parents of Margaret, Elias Cornelius (1854-1896), Richard Fields (1896), Thomas (1858-1862), Eleanor Margaret (1861), Henry French (1863-1885), Francis "Frank" Josiah (1866), and Caroline Mary (1872-1895).


Elias Boudinot, Cherokee and His America, Ralph Henry Gabriel, @ 1941, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.

Eastern Cherokee Court of Claims Application # 7810 Nina W. Springer.

Interview of Richard Fields Boudinot by Jas. S. Buchanan, ca 1937 Western History Collection #442-448.

Letterhead of The Cherokee Advocate (photocopy), dated December 13, 1876, Western History Collection, Box 1.

Artifacts, The American Indian Archaeological Institute, Vol. X, No. 4 Summer 1982, A Tale of Two Nations, Part III: The Brinsmades and the Boudinots, Karen Coody Cooper.

The Southland. This source contains information about men in a Texas community. I would like more informaton about this source.