Sequoyah

Sequoyah

Charles Bird King (1785-1862). Sequoyah. Hand-colored lithograph, Plate 13. McKenney, Thomas L. & Hall, James. History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Philadelphia: F.W. Greenough, 1838-1844.
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Sequoyah (Sikwayi), ca. 1760-1843 (Cherokee (Aniyunwiya)), also known as George Guess, was born in Tennessee, the son of Nathaniel Gist and a mixed-blood Cherokee woman.  When his career as a successful hunter was terminated by a leg injury, he taught himself to become a master silversmith.  His natural curiosity, intellectual and mechanical skills led him to explore a variety of fields, but he is best remembered for his development of the Cherokee Alphabet.  In 1823 he settled in Arkansas with the Western Cherokee and became a political leader of his people.  He visited Washington, D.C. in 1828 where King painted his portrait.  He died in Mexico while searching for a branch of the Western Cherokee.  His name was given to some of the oldest and largest trees in the world - the Sequoia.