Sequoyah and the Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet

By April R. Summitt | Go to book overview

Glossary

Allotment (Dawes Act) The Dawes Act of 1887 authorized the president to divide Indian reservation lands and give plots to individuals. The motive was to encourage, even force, Indians to become independent farmers like their white neighbors and to eventually move off the reservations and blend with mainstream society. Sponsored through Congress by Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, the act allowed the sale of excess land not allotted to Indians to be sold to white settlers. Because of this policy, Indian land was reduced from 138 million acres to 48 million by 1934. Although it did open up land to whites, the policy did not succeed in assimilating Native Americans into the mainstream culture, only in destroying their tribal governments. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended the policy in 1934 through his support of the Indian Reorganization Act, called a New Deal for Indians.

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) Congregationalist church members in Boston founded this organization in 1812 to promote and support Christian missions. In response to the religious revival movement, known as the Second Great Awakening that swept through the United States in the early 19th century, Protestant churches began emphasizing evangelism and the responsibility of Christians to convert nonbelievers. As it developed, other Protestant denominations joined the organization, and in 1961, it became part of multichurch group named the United Church Board for World Ministries. During the first years of operation, the American Board sent its first missionaries to India, China, other countries in Asia and the Middle East, Africa, and to the Cherokee in Tennessee. Later named Brainerd Mission, the American Board established a school in 1817 near present-day Chattanooga. The school taught Cherokee children English and basic reading and writing skills and operated until Cherokee removal in 1838.

Battle of Horseshoe Bend During the War of 1812, the Shawnee leader Tecumseh urged his fellow Native Americans to ally themselves with the

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Sequoyah and the Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chronology xiii
  • One - Growing Up Cherokee 1
  • Two - Sequoyah and the "Talking Leaves" 21
  • Three - The Cherokee Nation after Sequoyah 41
  • Four - Reading and Writing Cherokee 59
  • Five - Sequoyah, Real and Imagined 73
  • Short Biographies of Key Figures 87
  • Primary Documents 95
  • Glossary 139
  • Annotated Bibliography 147
  • Index 157
  • About the Author 165
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