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Cherokee Alphabet—Historical Document

A historical document is a report, story, or other writing created by people long ago. People made these documents to pass along important information or to write down laws. The Cherokee created this document to help people learn to read and write the Cherokee language.

Primary Source

There is an alphabet table showing letters in the Cherokee language.

Source: North Wind Picture Archives.


For hundreds of years Cherokee people learned history by hearing it from elders rather than reading it from books. In the early 1800s, a Cherokee man named Sequoyah (SEE koy uh) invented an alphabet for the Cherokee people so they could read and write in their own language. Schools in Cherokee communities still teach this alphabet today.