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Sequoyah: A Great Native American Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

There are five civilized tribes, they are Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw and Seminole. The Cherokees, along with the other tribes were forced to move away from their Native homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. This removal occurred from the early 1800’s to the late 1800’s. The removal placed them in Indian Territory, the area that is now Oklahoma. The Cherokees, were removed to the Northeastern part of present day Oklahoma. Their capital was Park Hill, near what is now Tahlequah. The man known as Sequoyah, and his mother, Wuh-Teh, were part of the thousands of Cherokees that were forced out of their homeland. These tribes had a rich and colorful history. This history was primarily passed down orally, because there was no written language. Sequoyah changed this for the Cherokee people. He singlehandedly provided a means of making the Cherokee a literate people. Because of this, Sequoyah was one of the most influential Native Americans in history.
Sequoyah was born around 1776 in Tuskegee, Tennessee. His English name was George Guess. From the beginning, his life was a little outrageous. He lived with his mother in a home that spoke only Cherokee. His name is said to be a form of the Cherokee word for hog. This Cherokee word is Sikwa. This may be a reference to the limp and cane that we see in the pictures of Sequoyah. Family links are very important to the Native people. His mother’s side of the family was considered a strong line and he was proud of them. Wut-teh, Sequoyah’s mother, had a sibling, John Watts or Young Tassel, and they were the niece of Old Tassel and Doublehead. Sequoyah’s father was a German Immigrant a peddler, was named George as well. His father was not around during his upbringing. He had no siblings. Sequoyah was disabled sometime early in his life. It is not known, specifically, where or what kind of injury or ailment caused the disability. He was not a school attendee nor did he know any English. He spent a majority of his youth assisting his mother by raising cattle and small farming. Sometime during his youth and young adulthood, Sequoyah moved to Alabama
By the age of eight, Sequoyah was a veteran of the war between the Cherokees and the white settlers. “White Men were like that. They killed mothers’ and children. It did not matter to them. They didn’t think beyond that.” (Sequoyah, 1). The white men took over the Cherokee land when he was just eight years old. “He watched the brutal white savages lit torches and rode house to house setting the people’s homes on fire. He saw them as they burned his own home. Tears welled up in his eyes. (Sequoyah, 2). He witnessed horrible acts of the war. He remembered stories he had heard from the old men tell about a time when there were no white men. He wished he lived in those times or that the white men had never found their way into his land. He tried to imagine a world of peace and harmony, a world where children did...

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