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Sequoyah was a young Cherokee Indian, son of a white trader and an Indian squaw. At an early age, he became fascinated by "the talking leaf," an expression that he used to describe the white man's written records. Although many believed this "talking leaf" to be a gift 5 from the Great Spirit, Sequoyah refused to accept that theory. Like other Indians of the period, he was illiterate, but his determination to remedy the situation led to the invention of a unique 86-character alphabet based on the-sound patterns that he heard.
10 His family and friends thought him mad, but while recuperating from a hunting accident, he diligently and independently set out to create a form of communication for his own people as well as for other Indians. In 1821, after twelve years of work, he had successfully developed a written language that would enable thousands of Indians to read 15 and write.
Sequoyah's desire to preserve words and events for later generations has caused him to be remembered among the important inventors. The giant redwood trees of California, called "sequoias" in his honor, 20 will further imprint his name in history.
1. What is the most important reason that Sequoyah will be remembered?
(A) California redwoods were named in his honor.
(B) He was illiterate.
(C) He created a unique alphabet.
(D) He recovered from his madness and helped mankind.
2. How did Sequoyah's family react to his idea of developing his own "talking leaf"?
(A) They arranged for his hunting accident.
(B) They thought he was crazy.
(C) They decided to help him.
(D) They asked him to teach them to read and write.
3. What prompted Sequoyah to develop his alphabet?
(A) People were writing things about him that he couldn't read.
(B) He wanted to become famous.
(C) After his hunting accident, he needed something to keep him busy.
(D) He wanted the history of his people preserved for future generations.
4. The word "illiterate" in line 6 means most nearly
(D) unable to read or write
5. How would you describe Sequoyah?
6. Which of the following is not true?
(A) Sequoyah developed a form of writing with the help of the Cherokee tribe.
(B) Sequoyah was a very observant young man.
(C) Sequoyah spent twelve years developing his alphabet.
(D) Sequoyah was honored by having some trees named after him.
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