Sequoyah

Sequoyah

[si-kwoi-uh]
Sequoyah, c.1766-1843, Native North American leader, creator of the Cherokee syllabary, b. Loudon co., Tenn. Although many historians believe that he was the son of a Cherokee woman and a white trader named Nathaniel Gist, his descendants dispute this claim. To most Americans he was known as George Guess; to the Cherokee he was known as Sogwali. The name Sequoyah was given to him by missionaries. A silversmith and a trader in the Cherokee country in Georgia, he set out to create a system for reducing the Cherokee language to writing, and he compiled a table of 85 characters; he took some letters from an English spelling book and by inversion, modification, and invention adopted the symbols to Cherokee sounds. There is some dispute as to when the syllabary was completed. Many historians date its completion at about 1821; Cherokee tradition holds that it was created much earlier and was actually in use as early as the late 18th cent. In 1822, Sequoyah visited the Cherokee in Arkansas, and soon he taught thousands of the Native Americans to read and write. He moved with them to present-day Oklahoma. Parts of the Bible were soon printed in Cherokee, and in 1828 a weekly newspaper was begun. His remarkable achievement helped to unite the Cherokee and make them leaders among other Native Americans. The giant tree, sequoia, is named for him.

See biographies by G. Foreman (1938, repr. 1970) and C. C. Coblentz (1946, repr. 1962); Traveller Bird, Tell Them They Lie: The Sequoyah Myth (1971).

or Sequoya or Sequoia

(born circa 1760/1770, Taskigi, North Carolina colony—died August 1843, near San Fernando, Mex.) Creator of the Cherokee writing system. Sequoyah was probably the son of a British trader. Convinced that the secret of the white people's power was written language, Sequoyah set about developing a Cherokee system. Adapting letters from English, Greek, and Hebrew, he created a system of 86 symbols representing all the syllables of the Cherokee language. Most Cherokee quickly became literate as a result. Sequoyah never learned to speak, read, or write English.

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Sequoyah is a census-designated place (CDP) in Rogers County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 671 at the 2000 census. The community is the setting for part of the 2000 film Where the Heart Is.

J. Evetts Haley, historian of the American West, once owned a ranch near Sequoyah.

Geography

Sequoyah is located at (36.386400, -95.589467). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.0 square miles (20.8 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 671 people, 238 households, and 199 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 83.6 people per square mile (32.3/km²). There were 248 housing units at an average density of 30.9/sq mi (11.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 79.14% White, 0.15% African American, 12.67% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 7.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.

There were 238 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 77.7% were married couples living together, 3.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.0% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 100.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $43,542, and the median income for a family was $50,417. Males had a median income of $32,969 versus $31,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,189. About 7.8% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 34.5% of those age 65 or over.

References

External links

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