Excerpt from "The Chickasaw nation : a short sketch of a noble people (1922)"   by James H. Malone  (Sequoyah - page 358)
California Digital Library

Sequoyah In the Hall of Fame

In 1911 the Legislature of the new State of Oklahoma honored itself in the passage of an act to place in the rotunda of the Capitol, the Hall of Fame at Washington, D. C., a splendid bronze statue of Sequoyah, as a famous man from that state. The presentation was made, and the statue unveiled on June 6, 1917, Honorable Charles D. Carter, member of Congress from the third district of Oklahoma, himself a distinguished descendant of the intrepid Chickasaws, being chairman of the meeting.

The presentation speech was made by Senator Robert L. Owen, of Oklahoma, he being of Cherokee descent and a man of distinguished ability; and among other things he said: " It is a strange thing that no alphabet in all the world reaches the dignity, the simplicity, and the value of the Cherokee alphabet as invented by Sequoyah. The European alphabet goes too far in providing analysis of sound and permits such large variations in spelling that it is a task of years to learn how to spell correctly in any of the European languages.

With the Sequoyah alphabet a Cherokee could learn to spell in one day. " Thus the labor of years was saved to the student. So great an intellectual accomplishment was this that Canon Kingsley named the great red cedars of California, which towered as high as four hundred feet into the air and which were twenty- five feet through at the base, 'sequoias,' because they were typical of the greatest native North American Indian."

Upon the same occasion Speaker Champ Clark said: " When I was a boy, my father believed in phonetics and I believe in phonetics. Sequoyah invented simply a large and complete phonetic system in which everything is spelled by sound, which is the correct way. If he had lived two thousand years ago and had invented his alphabet and had got people to use it, one-fifth of the time of the usual life could have been saved. (Applause.) On the average, we spend one-fifth of our lives learning how to spell and we don't know yet. (Laughter and applause.)"