Sequoya Review, A History

A Brief History of the Sequoya Review

Echo Literary Magazine, the publication that would one day become the Sequoya Review, was first published in 1965 and remained so named until 1970. Perhaps due to similarities with UTC’s periodical, its name was changed to The Literary Magazine in 1970 and was published quarterly until 1972. In autumn of 1972, the magazine changed its name yet again to Twice Twenty-Two, under which it was published until spring of 1975. In autumn of that year, the magazine was renamed the Sequoya Review as suggested by then-Associate Professor of English, Reed Sunderlin, who wanted the name to reflect an important figure who was born in the Tennessee. Sequoya, a Cherokee, was born in 1760 in Tuskegee, Tennessee to a Caucasian father, who taught him English, and a Cherokee mother. As he matured he began to question the notion of white superiority as he drifted around the Southeast, living in Fort Payne, Alabama, for a while before moving west. While in the West, he was able to form an eighty-six character syllabary, in which the characters represented the sounds of the Cherokee language. In 1821 Sequoya returned to the Southeast and began teaching his people with his new syllabary, fusing written history with the oral traditions of the Cherokee. His efforts led to the 1828 publication of the Cherokee Phoenix, a newspaper that featured articles written in both English and Cherokee. For his work Sequoya received an annual pension of $800 and the Redwood trees of the pacific coast were named after him, being called Sequoias, as was the Sequoia State Park.

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