Long before the white man came to America, the land belonged to the American Indian nations. The nation of the Cherokees lived in what is now the southeastern part of the United States.
After the white man came, the Cherokees copied many of their ways. One Cherokee named Sequoyah saw how important reading and writing was to the white man. He decided to invent a way to write down the spoken Cherokee language. He began by making word pictures. For each word he drew a picture. But that proved impossible—there were just too many words. Then he took the 85 sounds that made up the language. Using his own imagination and an English spelling book, Sequoyah invented a sign for each sound. His alphabet proved amazingly easy to learn. Before long, many Cherokees knew how to read and write in their own language. By 1828, they were even printing their own newspaper.
In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed a law. It allowed the government to remove the Indians from their lands. The Cherokees refused to go. They had lived on their lands for centuries. It belonged to them. Why should they go to a strange land far beyond the Mississippi River?
The army was sent to drive the Cherokees out. Soldiers surrounded their villages and marched them at gunpoint into the western territory. The sick, the old and the small children went in carts, along with their belongings. The rest of the people marched on foot or rode on horseback. It was November, yet many of themstill wore their summer clothes. Cold and hungry, the Cherokees were quickly exhausted by the hardships of the journey. Many dropped dead and were buried by the roadside. When the last group arrived in their new home in March 1839, more than 4,000 had died. It was indeed a march of death.
1. Why did Sequoyah decide to invent a written language for the Cherokees?
[A] Because he wanted to copy what whites were doing.
[B] Because he realized the importance of reading and writing.
[C] Because the Cherokees were eager to communicate with the white man.
[D] Because the Cherokees didn′t have their own language.
2. What did Sequoyah do at his first attempt?
[A] He identified the sounds that made up their language.
[B] He invented a sign for each sound.
[C] He copied down the alphabet from an English book.
[D] He tried to draw a picture for each word.
3. The Cherokees were forced to move westward because ____.
[A] the Cherokees had lived on their lands for too long
[B] the western territory belonged to them
[C] a law was passed to make the Indians leave their lands
[D] they would be given more land in the west
4. Which of the following is NOT TRUE according to the passage?
[A] Many Cherokees died on their way to the west.
[B] The Cherokees used to live in the southeastern part of the United States.
[C] It took about nine years to remove all the Cherokees from their lands.
[D] The exhausted Cherokees went in carts to the west with their belongings.
5. The author′s attitude toward the Cherokees was ____.