Cherokee language type

Back in the 1800s sometime, a ”typefoundry in Boston’ made
a fount of type for the Cherokee newspaper, i,e, in the langauge devised by Elder Sequoyah. Does anyone know which foundry?
Some - a little - of this type does still exist, in the wrong hands.

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In case you haven’t seen this already:

Baker & Greele, which was the first name of the (old) New England Type Foundry. Over a period from 1825 to 1828 (or so). See:

Thomas, William Joseph. “Creating Cherokee Print: Samuel Austin Worcester’s Impact on the Syllabary.” Media History Monographs. Vol. 10, No. 2 (2007-2008). Online at

(But there is some slight imprecision in this article with regard to the 1962 White/Faegre Cherokee; see below.)

The Wikipedia article on Brannon neglects to note that this was a three-way project between Brannon, XenoType Technologies (who produced a digital version first) and Ed Rayher of Swamp Press (who cut the matrices and cast the type). Brannon and Rayher gave a joint presentation on this project at the 2014 American Typecasting Fellowship Conference. Ed also distributed a short booklet describing the project. Google has digitized it, though it isn’t viewable - see:
For the Xenotype digital version see:

I’m sure that Brannon would be quite interested in information about surviving 19th century Cherokee type. You should contact him.

The Brannon/Rayher/Xenotype project was not the first Cherokee metal type post-19th century. In 1962 there was another three-way project, between John K. White (Cherokee aspect), Torvald Faegre (typeface designer) and Walker Malowski (matrix engraver) at Triangle Type Foundry. Some of this survives at the Smithsonian. See:

David M.

just a couple of years ago Ed at Swamp Press here in Massachusetts cut mats and cast some Cherokee type.

The “in the wrong hands” is a pretty snide and sarcastic comment to toss out.

There is quite a bit of ‘Cherokee’ type that was cast by Ed Rayher in the shop of a friend. I hesitate to mention that person’s name after the comment above.


No offence is meant at all to products since WW1, I admire those efforts, I speak here about the original type of way back in the 1800s, some few characters of which were found by treasure hunters in the back yard of the site prior to the ‘Trail of Tears event’, of the original ‘Cherokee’ newspaper printing works at New Echota. We are talking here of ancient history stuff. This type (and the press) was paid for by the Cherokee themselves, and is undoubtedly the property of either the Eastern or Western Band, maybe half should go to each. As I say, the sorts found appear to be in other hands.

I found the attached type specimen at St Bride Library in London today while reorganising some shelves. It’s not Cherokee, but another native American language - Cree. There’s no documentation, so I know nothing of its provenance, or when the punches may have been cut. Does anyone have further information I can add to our files?

image: Cree2.JPG


Interesting to note how many characters are in mirror-image pairs…

The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in
London published a gospel in Cree and somewhere I have a copy. I suspect that the printers for that may have been either William Clowes Ltd then in Long Acre, London, or Sir Richard Austin’s works at Hertford. I notice that the specimen shown despite having a Leipzig annotation is for 12 Engl (ish) size. In passing Clowes had both type and matrices for Aramaic, and you know whose language that was!. All lost due to bombing during WW2.

To revive this thread slightly, I was searching for a trace of a source for Cree sorts, which can be used for many of the indigenous languages in central Canada, and I found these two entries about the initial creation of the syllabics, and casting of type to print them:

I’d love to get my hands on a set of the type, but it seems with the exception of making new matrices, that seems unlikely.

Mergenthaler Linotype offered linecasting matrices for Cree, but I’ve never heard of any still around. I wonder if Phil Driscoll knows of any.

John Barrett at Letterpress Things has multiple fonts of brand new Cherokee type for sale, I believe cast by Swamp Press. They aren’t shown on his website, but I’m sure he would be happy to do business with anyone looking for some.

Edit: oops, just realized this is an old thread.

Thank you parallel and Audax for your responses! I’m still on my search.