Cherokee Phoenix:
The Birth and Revival of Cherokee Printing in the Southeast

Co-curated by Adam Doskey, Curator, Bentley Rare Book Museum, KSU and Frank Brannon, SpeakEasy Press.

Doskey and Brannon explore a forgotten aspect of Southern history, the birth of printing in the Cherokee language in New Echota, Georgia in the first decades of the nineteenth century. This exhibit lays bare the physical processes by which history is created, and it reveals how information is often lost through the frequently well-intentioned intermediaries that seek to document and record the process. Outside views of Cherokee history are depicted through maps, United States government documents, and lithographs. Inside views of Cherokee history are depicted through the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper, printed in the Cherokee Nation’s capital, New Echota, from 1828 to 1834. The exhibit also displays examples from the recent rebirth of letterpress printing in the Cherokee language from students and faculty at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, NC.

Bible leaf printed in Cherokee
ca. 1850

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