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

The New Written Language

As some of the Cherokees had moved to the new Arkansas country, he visited them there, and endeavored to have the Cherokees there understand his alphabet, and finally succeeded in having one write a letter to a friend back in Georgia, which he brought with him on his return home; and while his people wondered greatly when it was read, still they were not convinced. Sequoyah called a meeting of the most prominent men among the Cherokees, and also explained his alphabet to Col. Lowrey, the Indian agent, who lived only three miles from his cabin, and to all of them he explained in detail the principles of his alphabet; still they could not comprehend it.

Sequoyah had taught his alphabet to his little daughter, Ahyokeh, then only six years old, and sending her away he wrote down any word or sentiment his friends named, and when called back, she readily read what had been written. While Col. Lowrey at first thought that Sequoyah was deceiving himself, he finally began to doubt whether he was the deluded schemer which others thought him to be.

The syllabary was soon recognized by the Cherokees as an invaluable invention, and such was its simplicity and adaptability to the Cherokee language that money or schools and academies were unnecessary, for it could be easily learned in the tepee, or on the trail, and in a few months thousands of Cherokees could read and write in their language with ease and facility, thereby placing that nation far in advance of any other Indian tribe. The Cherokees, in recognition of Sequoyah's invention, presented him with a medal, and in 1828 he visited Washington and attracted much attention. In the treaty of that year he was given $500.00 by the United States Congress for the great benefit he had conferred upon the Cherokee people in the invention of his wonderful alphabet.