The Father of a truly American alphabet: Sequoyah’s last home is worth the visit.

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

AKINS, OKLAHOMA -- His likeness is forever listening, head cocked to gather inspiration.

The father of the first truly American alphabet sits in the old Big Skin Bayou District of the Cherokee Nation, now known as Sequoyah County.

Zach Adair's mother helped dedicate this Fred Olds made bronze back in 1986, which also happens to be a story I covered myself as a young reporter.

"It's kind of awesome being from the same tribe," he says, "and something I was always interested in."

He conducts tours at the site of Sequoyah's Cabin, the last place he ever called home.

"His hands hewed these logs," queries a visitor?

"Yes," replies Adair, "at the age of 57. You can 't get a 57-year-old off the couch these days."

Sequoyah was a trader and silversmith who never did learn to read or write in English.

But he admired what he called 'talking leaves', the new settlers way of communicating on paper.

Over a period fo 12 years he came up with an alphabet of 86 different characters.

He taught his daughter to read first.

Then, within a few short years, he taught the rest of the Cherokee people.

Zach points out, "To be honest with you this could be considered America's language. You have to understand English is foreign. Cherokee was created on this continent."

In the mid 1930's the caretakers of Sequoyah's Cabin sold it first to the State Historical Society.

The old WPA built this stone house to protect it.

Adair claims it's still the safest place in the county.

He chuckles and remarks, "The cabin was standing for 110 years and ain't nothing knocked it down. Now it's got a rock building around it. Nothing can bring it down."

The Cherokee Nation took the site over back in 2016 and Adair began his joj of introducing one of Oklahoma's most prominent fathers to every visitors who cares to listen.

The Sequoyah's Cabin historical site is located a few miles east of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

For more information on tours and events go to

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.