The story of Sequoyah is the tale of an ordinary man with an extraordinary ideaâ€”to create a writing system for the Cherokee Indians and turn his people into a nation of readers and writers. The task he set for himself was daunting. Sequoyah knew no English and had no idea how to capture speech on paper. But slowly and painstakingly, ignoring the hoots and jibes of his neighbors and friends, he worked out a system that surprised the Cherokee Nationâ€”and the world of the 1820sâ€”with its beauty and simplicity. James Rumfordâ€™s Sequoyah is a poem to celebrate literacy, a song of a peopleâ€™s struggle to stand tall and proud.