Beginning life with humble means and possibly lame, the Cherokee silversmith Sequoyah is the only known person in history to singlehandedly develop an alphabet. Born in the Cherokee village of Tuskegee, Sequoyah's syllabary for the Cherokee is the first written language for a Native American people. In recognition of his contributions, the Cherokee Nation awarded Sequoyah a silver medal created in his honor and a lifetime literary pension. He continued to serve Cherokee people as a statesman and diplomat until his death. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore tells his story and is dedicated to the history and culture of Native Americans.
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