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Manuscript Collection: Sequoyah Papers

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: Very little manuscript material remains concerning Sequoyah, also known as George Guess, (circa 1760-1843). These items consist of clippings from newspapers, excerpts from periodicals, photostats, and some material written in the syllabary, part of which has been translated into English by Levi Gritts. One photostatic letter signed by John Ross and John Drew attests that Sally Guess is the "only surviving widow of George Guess." It is dated May 1,1860, Washington, D. C. Important items: Four handwritten copies of the syllabary, three of them being in the hand of Sequoyah, are included in this collection. Dr. Jack Frederick Kilpatrick identified them, and all three have Sequoyah's signature (in the syllabary) at the right hand bottom corner. One of the three has a penciled note signed by "J. H. P." (John Howard Payne). An 1830 broadside has a note in the Reverend Samuel Worcester's hand signed with his initials, explaining the sounds of certain characters in the syllabary.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
18 items
1835 - 1860
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use Restrictions

Please contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s.