The Cherokee Advocate

Cherokee Advocate typesetters, circa 1900 - (3955, Ora Eddleman Reed Collection, OHS).

Originally posted in the Blog Oklahoma Newsletter.

The Cherokee Advocate was a newspaper for the Cherokee Nation at Tahlequah, Indian Territory, from 1844 to 1906. First printed on September 26, 1844, it was the first newspaper published in Indian Territory and, at the time, the only tribal paper in the country. It was printed in both English and Cherokee to provide tribal members with local news and information on tribal affairs.

The Advocate was published weekly until September 28, 1853, when it was suspended due to lack of funds. The Advocate was revived and returned to weekly publication on April 26, 1870. Unfortunately, a fire in February 1875 destroyed their printing office and equipment, and they wouldn’t return until March 1, 1876. From then on, the Cherokee Advocate continued publication until it ceased operations on March 4, 1906, when the U.S. government dissolved Indian Territory tribal governments as a prerequisite to forming the State of Oklahoma in 1907.

The Cherokee Advocate would be resurrected yet again by a newly reconstituted Cherokee government in 1975. In October 2000, the newspaper was renamed the Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate in honor of the Cherokee Nation’s original newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, first published on February 21, 1828, in New Echota, Cherokee Nation (now the State of Georgia). The Cherokee Phoenix still serves tribal citizens today as a modern multimedia publication.

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