Home » Scholars » Sequoyah


Born: 1776 AD
Died: 1843 AD
Nationality: Indian
Categories: Scholars

1776 – Born in the Cherokee village of Tuskegee on the Tennessee River, Sequoyah was a mixed blood whose mother, Wureth, belonged to the Paint Clan. Sometimes the young man was known by his English name, George Gist or Guess, a legacy from his white father.

1809 – Handicapped from a hunting accident and therefore having more time for contemplation and study, Sequoyah supposedly set about to devise his own system of communication.

1812 – He devoted the next dozen years to his task, taking time to serve as a soldier in the War and the Creek War. Despite constant ridicule by friends and even family members, and accusations that he was insane or practicing witchcraft, Sequoyah became obsessed with his work on the Cherokee language.

         – Sequoyah’s demonstration of the system before a gathering of astonished tribal leaders was so dramatically convincing that it promptly led to the official approval of the syllabary.

1827 – The Cherokee council appropriated funding for the establishment of a national newspaper. Early the following year, the hand press and syllabary characters in type were shipped by water from Boston and transported overland the last two hundred miles by wagon to the capital of the Cherokee Nation, New Echota.

1828 – The inaugural issue of the newspaper, "Tsa la gi Tsu lehisanunhi" or "Cherokee Phoenix", printed in parallel columns in Cherokee and English appeared on February 21st. It was the first Indian newspaper published in the United States".