official paper of the Downing political party of the Cherokee Nation. Parks, who was a member of the party, claimed that his paper made a specialty of Cherokee national affairs and fully discussed all "live" political issues of the day. Since many prominent Downing men were businessmen, the newspaper enjoyed a great deal of advertising business. Approximately half of the print was filler material. The remainder was local or Cherokee national news. There were frequent articles on topics of national interest such as intruders, citizenship, the Dawes Commission, the Freedmen's Compromise, school laws and education, crime, the Curtis Act, the court system, the Keetoowah Society, and townsites. Special or significant events were reflected in the pages as well: the Spanish- American War, annual messages of the principal chiefs, National Council activities, political campaigns, and religious conferences. Regular columns were devoted to local and personal news from Tahlequah and other towns and villages, secret societies and churches, and Washington news. As time passed, Parks published more news from the Indian Territory in general and from the United States. He remained loyal to the Downing Party and advocated allotment and the election of "progressive" officials.
In May, 1900, the Sentinel Publishing Company was sold to J. W. Patton and F. P. Shields, who had come to Tahlequah from Stilwell, Cherokee Nation. They claimed to continue in the interests of the Downing Party, but they also professed to be Democrats in the most modern sense and called for a speedy settlement of Cherokee affairs, i.e., dissolution of the Cherokee tribal title. Parks had published a seven-column paper. They quickly changed the format to eight smaller pages of five columns. The Sentinel apparently ceased publication in 1902. 7