The editors in 1855 were Cherokee students David Lucellus Vann, Joel Bryan Mayes, and Charles Holt Campbell. Vann graduated from the Male Seminary that year and went to school at Rochester, New York, where he soon became ill. He left for home but died en route at Springfield, Missouri, in the spring of 1856. 1 Mayes was destined for a prominent role in Cherokee affairs. After graduation in 1855, he taught school for two years and then ranched until the Civil War, during which he served in the Confederate Army. After the war he held several prominent posts in the Cherokee government, including chief justice of the Supreme Court and principal chief, to which office he was twice elected. 2 Charles Holt Campbell also graduated from the seminary in 1855. He became a Methodist minister and a schoolteacher. 3
The editors for 1856--Richard J. Ross, James Franklin Thompson, and Albert Barnes--were likewise an able group. Thompson later attended Cane Hill College in Arkansas and then Cumberland College at Lebanon, Tennessee, from which he graduated in 1861. After the Civil War, in which he fought for the Confederacy, he taught in the Cherokee public schools and at the Male Seminary and was superintendent of the Female Seminary, Asbury Manual Labor School at Eufaula, Creek Nation, and the Cherokee Orphan Asylum. 4 Barnes entered Dartmouth College in 1857 and graduated in 1861. He, too, became a Cherokee educator, serving as superintendent of schools in 1863, and held political office including clerk positions on district and circuit courts and, in 1873 and 1875, his nation's delegate to the Okmulgee Council. 5
The paper that these students published had much in common with A Wreath of Cherokee Rose Buds,* published at the Female Seminary. Their motto was "Truth, Justice, Freedom of Speech, and Cherokee Improvement." Although the paper contained some chatty school items and local and Cherokee national news of general interest, its content for the most part was original essays and poetry by students and former students. The subject of the essays ranged from the past and present condition of the Cherokees to honor, nature, and courage.
Since only two issues are known to exist, how long the publication continued is uncertain. Because of a lack of funds, the Male Seminary closed on October 20, 1856, and did not reopen until several years after the Civil War. The July 31, 1856, issue was apparently the last.