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p. 353. To write in Englishlocked

  • Sean Teuton

Abstract

‘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.

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