Cherokee Phoenix gifted unique piece
Will Chavez, Cherokee Phoenix interim executive editor, and Cherokee researcher Dusty Helbling hold a unique artist proof depicting Cherokee syllabary creator Sequoyah against a backdrop of the Cherokee Phoenix logo. Helbling bought the proof online and had it framed and engraved before gifting it to the Phoenix on Jan. 26 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The unique proof features the name of the artist underneath, Phillip M., though the last name remains unclear. Helbling said the artist proof was created at an unknown company in Georgia before it went out of business, thus making the proof the only one in existence. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A gem with ties to the Cherokee Phoenix went untouched for weeks on eBay before Cherokee researcher Dusty Helbling purchased it. And in January, he gave it to the Phoenix staff.
“I got it, mainly because nobody realized what it was,” Helbling said.
The piece is an artist proof titled “Sequoyah and the Phoenix” depicting Cherokee syllabary creator Sequoyah against a backdrop of the Cherokee Phoenix logo in shades of blue, red, black and brown. The Cherokee Phoenix is spelled below in embroidered syllabary characters. Under the proof is the title, the French words “bon a tirer” meaning “ready for press” and the artist name Phillip M., though the last name is unclear.
Helbling’s discovery came about after searching for Cherokee-related items on eBay.
“This was a one-of-a-kind artist proof that was on the Internet auction,” he said. “It was on for quite a while. They had one auction and nobody bid on it. They lowered the price by half. I thought it was going to go for quite a bit more than I could afford, but I was able to obtain it.”
Though Helbling doesn’t know much about the proof’s origins, he does know the artist worked for a Georgia company.
“The artist had started to make (the proof) but the company went bankrupt before they got to make any prints, so this is the only one in existence,” he said.
Helbling drove from Ozark, Arkansas, to gift the piece. He had it framed and engraved as a way to honor John Foster Wheeler, who was one of the first printers of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper.
Wheeler was born in 1808 and began his involvement in the newspaper industry through an apprenticeship in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1822. The experience put him in contact with Isaac Harris, and in 1828 the two men became the first printers of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper. While Harris eventually left after differing with Editor Elias Boudinot, Wheeler continued.
He saw the U.S. government and the Cherokee Nation clash more than once over treaties and land rights, including the 1835 incident in which Georgia authorities destroyed the paper’s printing equipment. Later that year, Rev. Samuel Worcester, who had moved to Indian Territory, arranged a printing shop at Union Mission, which was north of Fort Gibson, and asked Wheeler to be his printer, making him the first printer in the territory.
“Every turn, the guy was involved in history,” Helbling said. “That’s why I wanted to honor him as the first printer at the Cherokee Phoenix and also the first one in Indian Territory.”
Helbling gave the proof to the Phoenix in part because of his love of history. The son of a professional golfer, Helbling grew up creating history of his own. He was the first 5-year-old in the history of golf to have a hole-in-one and was involved with the Professional Bull Riders in the 1940s and 1950s.
Helbling said he is of Cherokee descent through his great-great-grandfather, which sparked his interest in Cherokee culture. He has spent much time researching the Cherokee people and visiting campsites along the Trail of Tears route in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
His appreciation for Cherokee culture made gifting the proof an easy decision.
“I just thought (the proof) belongs here, and I decided to purchase it and get it all set up with the engraving done to have it up here where it really should be,” Helbling said.
The proof now resides in the Phoenix’s main office. Anyone with information regarding the artist or the proof’s origin can call 918-453-5269.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏓ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᏭᏓᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎩᎶ ᏯᎦᏎᏎᏗᏍᎨ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᎪᎸᏛ ᎾᎿ eBay ᎩᎳ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᏯᎸᏍᎩ Dusty Helbling ᎤᏩᏒᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᎾ ᎧᎸ, ᏚᏅᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ.
“ᎠᎩᏁᏒ, ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏗᏙᏗ Ꮭ ᎩᎳ ᏳᏅᏕ ᎠᎴ ᏱᎪᎵᎨ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Helbling.
ᎯᎢᎾ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᎬᏁᎯ ᏚᏙᎥ “ᏏᏉᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ” ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏗᏣᎳᎩ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏧᏬᏪᎳᏅ ᏚᏃᏴᎬ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᏚᏬᏢᏁᎯ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏭᏓᏃᏟ ᎣᎾᏗᏝ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ ᏕᎦᏃᏣᏢ ᏧᎵᏑᎳᏓ ᏌᎪᏂᎨ, ᎩᎦᎨ, ᎬᎿᎨᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏬᏗᎨ.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎢᎪᏪᎳ ᎡᎳᏗᏢ ᎦᏰᏫᏓ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏐᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᏕᎪᏪᎳ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᎯᏳᏗᏍᎩ ᎢᎪᏪᎳ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎦᎸᏥ ᏗᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ “bon a tirer” ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᎦᏓᎬ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅ ᏧᏂᎴᏴᏗᎢ” ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏓᎶᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏚᏙᎥ Phillip M. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏂ ᏚᏙᎥ ᏝᏙ ᏱᎦᏴᎪᎵᎦ.
“Helbling’s ᎤᏬᎷᏩᏛᏓ ᎤᎷᏤ ᎣᏂ ᎾᏃ ᎤᏯᎸᏍᎬ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏱᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎾᏍᎩᎴ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎾᎿ eBay.
“ᎯᎢᎾ ᏌᏊ ᎪᏢᏅᎢ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒ ᎤᏂᏍᎪᎸᏛᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎡᎵ ᎪᎯᏓ ᎠᏍᎪᎸᏛᎢ. ᏌᏊ ᏄᏂᎾᏕᏒᏅ Ꮭ ᎩᎶ ᏳᏁᏤ ᏱᏚᎬᏩᏝᏁ. ᎡᎳᏗ ᏄᏅᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᏴ ᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏛ. ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎤᎪᏕᏍᏗ ᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏕᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎬᏩᏈᏴᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᎩᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Helbling Ꮭ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎢᏳᏅᏔ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏓᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ, Ꮭ ᏯᎦᏔ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ Georgia ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎩᎢ.
“ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎪᏢᏍᎬ (ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ) ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎩ ᏚᎾᎵᏍᏆᎸᏒ Ꮟ ᏄᏃᏢᏅᎾ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏌᏊ ᏣᎭ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Helbling ᏓᏳᏂᎩᏒ ᎾᎿ Ozark, Arkansas, ᎤᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎲᎢ. ᎤᎵᏔᏁ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏁ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎦᎵᎡᎵᏍᏙᏗ John Foster Wheeler, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏗᎪᏪᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎦᎴᏴᏔᏅ.
Wheeler ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏁ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎴᏅᎮ ᎨᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏓᏂᎴᏴᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎨᏎᎢ ᎾᎿ Huntsville, Alabama, ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏔᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥᏃ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎾᏙᎵᏨ ᎾᏍᎩ Isaac Harris, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏔᎵᏍᎪᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᏂᏔᎵ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏗᏃᏪᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎪᏪᎵ. ᎾᎿ Harris ᎣᏂᏴ ᎤᏂᎩᏎ ᎣᏂ ᏚᎾᏓᎴᏅᏤ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎦᎴᏴᏗᏍᎩ Elias Boudinot, Wheeler ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐᎢ.
ᏚᎪᎲᎢ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᎤᏂᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏓᎾᏓᎴᎨ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎾᏃ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎧᏃᎮᏛ ᏚᎾᏠᎯᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎪᎯ ᎦᏙᎯ, ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏦᏍᎪᎯᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏣᏥ ᏄᏂᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎤᏂᏲᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎪᏪᎪᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ. ᎣᏂᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎤᏓᏂᎵᎨ Samuel Worcester, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᏅᏒ ᎨᏎ ᎤᎷᏤ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᏂᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎦᏙ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ, ᎠᏓᏁᎸᏛ ᏧᏂᎴᏴᏙᏗ ᎪᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ Union Mission, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏴᏢ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎤᏪᏘ ᏗᏐᏴ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏛᏛᏅ Wheeler ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎵᏍᎩ, ᎪᏢᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ.
“ᏂᎦᏓ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏍᎦᏱ ᎤᏗᏑᏲ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏯᏂᏃᎮ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏊ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᏱᎩ,” Helbling ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏗᎪᏪᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎬᏱ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ ᎦᏙᎯ.”
Helbling ᏚᏅᏁᎸ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎢ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎨᏳᏒ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ. ᎤᏪᏥ ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᎦᏎᏍᏗ ᏗᏁᎶᎲᏍᎦ golfer, Helbling ᎤᏛᏒ ᎪᏢᏍᎬ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎨᏒ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ golf ᎤᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏔᎴᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏌᏊ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᏛᏁᎲ Bull ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎯᎦᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.
Helbling ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎯ ᎨᏒ ᏔᎵ ᎤᏔᎾ ᏧᏚᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᏓᏳᎵᏍᏙᏔᏅ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏅᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ. ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏲᎲᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏕᏙᎲ ᎢᎴᎯᏳ ᎤᏂᎶᏒ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏅᏅ ᏚᎾᏠᏱᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏧᏯᏓᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ.
ᎾᎿ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏓᏁᏗ ᎪᎯᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎯᏓ ᏚᏭᎪᏔᏅᎢ.
“ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᎸ (ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ) ᎠᎭᏂ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏊᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎩᏩᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗᎢ ᎤᏂᏅᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏂᏅᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Helbling.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᏃᏊ ᎤᏂᎾᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗ. ᎩᎶ ᎾᎿ ᏳᎭ ᎤᏃᎮᏗ ᏗᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ Ꮎ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏎᏍᏗ ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏗ 918-453-5269.