:: Deaf People in History: Day 16 – Thomas Gallaudet ::
A hearing man and a deaf university
Gallaudet University was named for a hearing man who brought education to deaf
children in America. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851), who suffered
from poor health throughout his life, discovered the world of the deaf
when he met young Alice Cogswell. Alice was a deaf child with no
Through interacting with Alice, he discovered teaching. On a
trip to Europe, he met and brought back the young Laurent Clerc, a deaf
teacher, to help him start the American School for the Deaf
in Connecticut. He fell in love with and married one of his former
pupils, Sophia Fowler, starting a large family of CODAs (children of
deaf adults). One of his CODA sons, Edward Miner Gallaudet, grew up to
be the first president of Gallaudet University (then under a different name). Thomas Gallaudet’s life was short, but he left a legacy of educated deaf people.
Biographies of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
Biographies of Thomas Gallaudet are available both online and in print. Online Biographies of Thomas Gallaudet
- A Father, A Son, A University: Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
– This long biography, written for younger readers, is pleasant to read
and well-illustrated. It is written by a writer who has written often
for the deaf youth publication, World Around You.
- The Library of Congress also has an archived article, “Life and
Labors of Thomas H. Gallaudet” that was published in The North American
Review, Volume 87, Issue 181, October 1858. Scanned text and graphics
are available on the Library of Congress website.
- Life of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet – Gallaudet’s son Edward wrote this book about his father. No longer in print, it is available online from DisabilityMuseum.org.
Books About Thomas Gallaudet
A few books have been published about Thomas Gallaudet.
- World of Knowing: A story about Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet – An illustrated children’s book. (compare prices)
- A Deaf Child Listened: Thomas Gallaudet, Pioneer in American Education, by Anne Neimark. This book is out of print, but is be available through used book dealers. (compare prices)
Thomas H. Gallaudet Odds and Ends
Last but not least, there is a rubber stamp available of Thomas Gallaudet with Alice Cogswell, from ASLStamp.com. About Deafness has an article on a real stamp, the Thomas H. Gallaudet stamp. continued