DECEMBER 13, 1847

WILLIAM C. ROGERS—THE LAST ELECTED CHEROKEE NATION PRINCIPAL CHIEF-BORN

Born in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, Rogers enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861 and served in the First Regiment of Cherokee Volunteers.  In 1877, he established the original town of Skiatook.  In 1881, Rogers was elected as representative of the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation and was reelected in 1883.  In 1889, he won the tribal senate seat and, in 1903, became the last principal chief elected under the Cherokee Nation.  With Oklahoma statehood looming, Rogers declined to call an election for the National Council in 1905 saying that it was a waste of money.  An election was held without his approval and the elected members replaced Rogers with Frank J. Boudinot.  However, as the Secretary of the Interior was now responsible for concluding the work of the Dawes Commission, he designated Rogers as the rightful chief to sign documents for the tribe.  He remained in this semi-official position until his death on November 8, 1917, in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  

Source:  Ricky, Donald, Encyclopedia of Mississippi Indians [Santa Barbara, CA: Somerset Publishers, 2001], pp. 182-186.  Retrieved 8/8/2019, https://books.google.com/books?id=Nca4e2mZzWgC&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=william+c.+rogers+cherokee&source=bl&ots=My2eofR00g&sig=ACfU3U1HN4Dr8U3OLZH8bUuu5uX9kvjb4g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiS7a2_pfTjAhVFuVkKHYJrCFc4ChDoATAQegQIBhAB#v=onepage&q=william%20c.%20rogers%20cherokee&f=false Wikipedia
Sketch:  Emmett Starr (1870-1930), 1921.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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