Sequoyah’s the american nation volume 1 pdf status has led to several competing accounts of his life that are speculative, contradictory, or fabricated. As noted by John B. Davis, there were very few primary documents describing facts of Sequoyah’s life.
Some anecdotes were passed down orally, but these often conflict or are vague about times and places. Cherokee people, quoted a cousin as saying that as a little boy, he spent his early years with his mother. Estimates of his birth year ranged from 1760 to 1776. Wut-teh and John Watts were cousins. Sources differ as to the identity of Sequoyah’s father. According to Goodpasture, some believe the father was an unlicensed German peddler named George Gist, who came into the Cherokee Nation in 1768, where he married and fathered a child. 1828, stated that Sequoyah’s father was a half-blood and his grandfather a white man.
Traveller Bird, who claims to be a Sequoyah descendant. Bird says that Sequoyah was a full-blood Cherokee who always opposed the submission and assimilation of his people into the white man’s culture. The encyclopedia noted that Bird presented no documentary evidence, but has gained some credibility in academic circles. In any case the father was absent before Sequoyah was born. Various explanations have been proposed, but the reason is unknown. There were no siblings, and Sequoyah was raised by his mother alone. According to Davis, Sequoyah never went to school and never learned English.
He and Wuteh spoke only Cherokee. As a youth, he spent much of his time tending cattle and working in their garden, while his mother ran a trading post. Sequoyah became lame early in life, though why, when and where are not known. In any case, lameness prevented him from being a successful farmer or warrior. Despite his lack of schooling, Sequoyah displayed a good deal of natural intelligence. As a child, he had devised and built milk troughs and skimmers for the dairy house that he had constructed.
As he grew older and came in contact with more white men, he learned how to make jewelry. He became a noted silversmith, creating various items from the silver coins that trappers and traders carried. He never signed his pieces, so there are none that can be positively identified as his work. Sequoyah may have taken over his mother’s trading post after her death, which Davis claimed occurred about the end of the 18th Century.