Show Summary Details

p. 353. To write in Englishlocked

  • Sean Teuton


‘To write in English’ explains how the written word allowed Native Americans to more easily pass on the oral literature of their people and to be recognized as educated and rational agents. In 1815, Sequoyah, a Cherokee silversmith, single-handedly invented a written language, which was embraced by the Cherokee Nation. By the late 1820s, most Cherokees could write in Sequoyan and, with the eventual success of missionary schools, many could speak, read, and write English. In 1828, the first issue of North America’s first indigenous language newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, was published. The paper declared in English and Cherokee the vital role that American literacy would play in transforming Native people.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.