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Oklahoma Gazette readers respond to Sequoyah, Sequoia

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Reaction to Oklahoma Gazette's March 5 story, "Pipe dream," was as varied as the spellings of Sequoyah's name.

 

The article detailed how the ubiquitous usage of Sequoyah began with him as the namesake of a proposed state for American Indians. A sidebar showed that his name does not reside in the annals of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

 

"Looking at the makeup and composition of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, my question is, why would Sequoyah want to be a member of this organization?" one reader asked.

 

Another questioned claims that the pipe-smoking Sequoyah influenced the names of the sequoia tree and the Toyota sport utility vehicle with a similar moniker. (The article reported that variations of the Cherokee silversmith's name were used on those items.) Links checking the etymology of "sequoia" and variant spellings of "Sequoya" at the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary provided confirmation.

 

A third reader wanted to give a non-professor's take on the state of Sequoyah issue from an indigenous perspective.

 

At press time, we've received no word on whether the creator of the Cherokee syllabary was nominated into the 2008 class of the Hall of Fame.

 

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported that construction has commenced for a 2,400-square-foot Trail of Tears memorial in Tennessee. Relocation of the Cherokee forced the tribe to trek to Oklahoma in 1838.

 

Sequoyah moved with the Cherokee and built a log cabin near what is now Sallisaw. He died in 1843. -Gazette staff

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