Sequoyah's Cabin470288 Highway 101
Sallisaw, OK 74955
Staff: Michael Allen
Sequoyah, also known as George Guess, built this one-room log cabin in 1829, shortly after moving to Oklahoma. The cabin became the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1936, and the cabin was enclosed in a stone cover building as a project of the Works Progress Administration. In 1965 the Secretary of the Interior designated the site as a National Historic Landmark.
Sequoyah was born in Tennessee about 1778. He became known as a skilled blacksmith and silversmith as well as an artist. In 1809 he began experimenting with a written alphabet for the Cherokee language.
After many years of experimentation, Sequoyah realized the Cherokee language is composed of a set number of recurring sounds. With this insight he identified the sounds and created a symbol for each sound, producing a syllabary. By 1821 his work was complete. When Sequoyah demonstrated that he and his daughter, Ahyokah (Ah-yo-ka), could communicate by reading written messages, the teaching of the syllabary spread.
Sequoyah left his eastern home in 1818 to operate a salt production and blacksmith works near present-day Russellville, Arkansas. In 1828 Sequoyah joined a delegation sent to Washington by the Arkansas Cherokee to make a treaty exchanging their lands for lands in Indian Territory. Following this trip, Sequoyah traded his land and salt works for land located on Big Skin Bayou Creek in Indian Territory .
Visit The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture to find out more about Sequoyah.
The property is now owned and operated by the Cherokee Nation.