Who Are Some Famous Cherokee Indians?

Sequoyah and Nancy Ward are two famous Cherokee Indians. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee writing system, and Nancy Ward played an important role in political decisions regarding the Cherokee.

Sequoyah was born in 1770 near Knoxville, Tenn. to a woman named Wuteh and an unknown father. Much of his early life is debated, but accounts state that he never went to school or learned English. Sequoyah grew up to be a silversmith and became impressed by the white settlers’ use of writing. He began creating a writing system for the Cherokee language around 1809. The Nation of Cherokees accepted his system in 1825, and the first Cherokee newspaper launched in 1828.

Nancy Ward was a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, which means that she sat in councils with prominent Cherokee members to make important decisions. She was known as a peace negotiator and sought for a peaceful alliance between the Europeans and her people. Ward is also credited with introducing new farming and dairy-production techniques to the Cherokee. Ward became a member of the tribal council of chiefs and the leader of the Women’s Council of Clan Representatives at the age of 18. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Tennessee holds an annual holiday in Ward’s honor, and she is considered a pioneer for women in American politics.