Sequoyah was a Cherokee silversmith, best known for the creation of Cherokee syllables. As a silversmith, he regularly dealt with white men and became impressed by their writing techniques. In 1809, he attempted to create a writing system for the Cherokee languages. Sequoyah became so involved in his work that he left his field unattended, causing his neighbors and friend to think that he had lost his mind. His wife even burnt some of his writing, believing it was some kind of witchcraft. In the end, he developed a working Cherokee syllable system that contained 86 characters.