Saturday, 6 December 2014
Sequoyah ( Ssiquoya, as he signed his name,or Se-quo-ya, as his name is often spelled today in Cherokee) (c. 1770–1840), named in English George Gist or George Guess, was a Cherokee silversmith. In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was the only time in recorded history that a member of a pre-literate people independently created an effective writing system. After seeing its worth, the people of the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825. Their literacy rate quickly surpassed that of surrounding European-American settlers.