Heroes

Sequoyah and Oral History

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Sequoyah and Oral History

  Sequoyah, a Cherokee silversmith who was also known as George Gist (or perhaps Guist or Guess), developed the Cherokee syllabary and has become a hero not only to the Cherokee, but for all Americans. His image is on one of  the doors of the Library of Congress, in the National Statuary Hall in the nation’s capitol, his name was proposed as the name of a state, and his likeness has been on a stamp. Sequoyah’s childhood, birth year, and birthplace are difficult to pinpoint because of so many conflicting reports. Some say Sequoyah was born in a village in Tuskegee, Tennessee,...

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Madame C. J. Walker

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Madame C. J. Walker

  Madame C.J. Walker was a self-made businesswoman who created opportunities for herself and for other African American women at a time when both educational and career opportunities were limited. Walker was the first African-American woman to become a millionaire, and (according to the Guiness book of world records) the first woman to earn a million dollars through her own efforts. She was also a philanthropist and a tireless worker for several causes, including the end of lynching and equal rights for African American veterans. Madame C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove in Delta,...

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Florence Kelley

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Florence Kelley

  Florence Kelley worked for laws to improve working conditions in the United States and for civil rights. She was important in the fight to get children out of factories and into schools, and the fight for safe working conditions for factory workers. Kelley was a fighter. She was one of the first factory inspectors, becoming the Chief Factory Inspector for the state of Illinois in 1893, and she was known to be very tough when she found children working in factories, or people working in dangerous conditions. At that time, factory workers — including children — often worked...

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Squanto

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Squanto

Tisquantum, commonly called Squanto, was a Patuxet man who helped the Pilgrims survive in their new home. The Patuxet were members of the Wampanoag Confederation who lived in what is now Plymouth. Nothing certain is known of Squanto until 1614, though some historians believe that Squanto had gone to England with an explorer in 1605 and was traveling with Captain John Smith when he returned to the Americas. Captain John Smith, whom your students may know from the story of Pocahontas, had gone to New England in 1614 to map out possible places for an English colony. When he returned to England,...

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John Muir

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John Muir

  John Muir was an inventor and a rancher by vocation, but he was also a naturalist and a writer, and it was this avocation for which we remember him. During his lifetime, he published 10 books and more than 300 articles of observations about nature. His writings detailed his travels from Panama to Canada and particularly in the Sierras, mountains in the Western United States. Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland on April 21st, 1838, but he came to the United States at the age of 11. His family was unable to send him to school, but he studied on his own, continuing to be a passionate reader...

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