Sequoyah's Numerals

Sequoyah also created Cherokee numerals. The Cherokee council voted not to adopt the numeric characters, but we found them, written in Sequoyah's own hand, in the John Howard Payne papers collected at the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Shown on the top line are the numerals 1 through 20. Below that are numerals for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100. The next line reads: 250, 360, 470, and 590. After a few lines that are more difficult to decipher, the chart ends with the representation of one-million.

The illustration above is a detail taken from a photograph obtained from the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been enhanced to show the faint handwritten translations of Sequoyah's numerals. The photograph is copyrighted by the Gilcrease Museum.

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