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File:Elias Cornelius Boudinot.jpg

Elias C. Boudinot

Elias Cornelius Boudinot (August 1, 1835 – September 27, 1890) was a delegate to the Arkansas secession convention, a colonel in the Confederate States Army, and a territorial representative in the Confederate Congress.

Born near Rome, Georgia, he was the son of Cherokee leader Elias Boudinot. In 1839, when Boudinot was four years old, his father was assassinated by fellow Cherokees for signing the Treaty of New Echota and giving up tribal lands. Following this, Boudinot was brought to New England by his stepmother. He studied engineering in Manchester, Vermont. At age eighteen, he moved to Arkansas and became a lawyer. His first notable victory as a lawyer was defending his uncle Stand Watie against murder charges.

In 1860, Boudinot was chairman of the Arkansas Democratic State Central Committee. In 1861, he served as secretary of the Secession Convention.

During the Civil War, he fought for the Confederate Army, under his uncle Stand Watie. He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1863, he was elected delegate to the Confederate Congress, representing a faction of Cherokees.

Following the war, Boudinot and Watie started a tobacco factory, intending to take advantage of tax immunities promised in the 1866 treaty between the United States and the Cherokee. U.S. officials denied that the treaty provided immunity, and seized the factory for nonpayment of taxes. In 1871, the Supreme Court ruled against Boudinot and Watie, declaring that the Congress could abrogate previous treaty guarantees.

He died in Fort Smith, Arkansas on September 27, 1890.


Sharon O’Brien. "Boudinot, Elias Cornelius"; American National Biography Online February 2000.; accessed June 7, 2006.