women, Cherokee, newspaper, Rosebuds, Trail of Tears


When the Cherokee women, back in 1817, first heard the news that they were being stripped of their lands and being forced to journey through the Trail of Tears, they decided to fight for what was right by speaking up and using their voices to be heard around the world. They created petitions and speeches, explaining their love for their people, motherhood, and the land, and how it was “their duty as mothers” to fight for the right to stay in the southeastern part of the United States (Lauter 2399). Though the Cherokee women’s voices were silenced when their petitions were ignored, their writings have given scholars the opportunity to dig deeper into the horrific events that occurred. I argue, though scholars discuss how voices diminished because of the Trail of Tears removal, that recovering the works of the girls from the Cherokee Rosebuds newspapers allow these young women to maintain the literary traditions of their ancestors. They are able to tell their own stories in a culture and society that has been restructured to having male figures as public spokesmen for the Cherokee voice; the petitions of 1817, 1818, and 1821 point out that these young women are striving to reassert their voices into the narrative, reaching out for readers and listeners alike to understand the values of what they have to say. The stories within the Cherokee Rosebuds newspaper are continuing the Cherokee women’s rhetoric while bringing Cherokee girls’ agency to life.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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English 361