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Near the town of Tanasee, and not far from the almost mythical town of Chote lies Taskigi (Tuskeegee), home of Sequoyah. In this peaceful valley setting Wut-teh, the daughter of a Cherokee Chief married Nathaniel Gist, a Virginia fur trader. The warrior Sequoyah was born of this union in 1776.

Probably born handicapped, and thus the name Sequoyah (Sikwo-yi is Cherokee for "pig's foot"), Sequoyah fled Tennessee as a youth because of the encroachment of whites. He initially moved to Georgia, where he acquired skills working with silver. While in the state, a man who purchased one of his works suggested that he sign his work, like the white silversmiths had begun to do. Sequoyah considered the idea and since he did not know how to write he visited Charles Hicks, a wealthy farmer in the area who wrote English. Hicks showed Sequoyah how to spell his name, writing the letters on a piece of paper. Sequoyah began to toy with the idea of a Cherokee writing system that year(1809).

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Other Web Links Referencing Sequoyah

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum

Sequoyah's Talking Leaves


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