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England and Wales:
" St. Mary's....
" St. Joseph's....... Belfast.... Strabane..............
| Rev. Jas. H. Watson, M.A...
Mr. D. Murray,
1810 Mr. William Hutchinson......
These details are based upon the census returns of 1871, to which, however, many additions are here made, from personal inquiry and knowledge. There were, and are, several educational establishments in active and successful working; as, for instance, the Jews' school in London, the Roman Catholic school near Sheffield, the Llandaff institution nained above, some private seminaries, and one or two day-schools, which are not included in the census returns at all. On the other hand, the Strabane institu. tion is now united to the one at Claremont, near Dublin.
If we add the numbers thus omitted, we shall raise the English total to more than 1200, and as the numbers in Scotland and Ireland were 301 and 478 respectively, it is evident that at least 2,000 deaf-mute children must have been under instruction in the United Kingdom in 1871. That number is certainly exceeded now. And, let it be remembered that it is to the present century that the honorable distinction belongs of having done so much for the deaf and dumb. This has not been by inventing the art of teaching, or by raising up the earliest laborers in this field of usefulness, but by founding and supporting public institutions for this purpose. De l'Epée, when he opened his school in 1760, had no foreknowledge of the work he was commencing. As his labors increased, he invited others to his assistance, and they were thus enabled to carry the light of instruction elsewhere, and to keep it alive when he was no more. His death took place in 1789, and his assistant, Sicard, succeeded him. Four years afterwards, this school was adopted by the French government, and now exists as the Institution Nationale of Paris. A pupil of this institution, M. Laurent Clerc, on being applied to in 1816, consented to go the United States with the founder and first principal of the American asylum, and he became, like De l'Epée, le père des sourds-mucts (tho father of the deaf and dumb) in the new world. From these small beginnings of Braidwood and De l’Epée, of Heinicke in Germany, and Gallaudet in America, have arisen, within about a century, more than 200 schools for the deaf and dumb. In Great Britain and Ireland there are 25 institutions, 39 in the United States, 4 in British America, and 2 in our Australian colonies. Among the English-speaking races, the increase of energy in this direction is very striking. The figures for foreign countries are not of so recent date, but it is believed that there are about 60 institutions in Austria, Prussia, and the smaller kingdoms and states of Germany, 50 in France, 20 in Italy and in Switzerland, 10 in Holland and Belgium, 2 in Russia, with one or two others in the less populous and enterprising of the European nations.
The mental condition of the deaf and dumb is so peculiar-s0 entirely unlike that of any other branch of the human family—that it is extremely difficult, without very close thought, to obtain an accurate conception of it. While almost every one will readily admit that there is a wide difference between a deaf and a hearing child, very few, who have not had their attention painfully drawn to the subject, possess any adequate notion of the difference, or could tell wherein it consists. Sometimes the deal are compared with the blind, though there exists no proper ground of comparison between them. Except that the blind are more dependent than the deaf and dumb, the relative disadvantages of the two classes do not admit of a moment's comparison. The blind man can be talked with and read to, and is thus placed in direct intercourse with the world around him: domestic converse, literary pleasures, political excitement, intel. lectual research, are all within his reach. The person born deaf is utterly excluded from every one of them. The two afilictions are so essentially dissimilar, that they can only be considered and spoken of together by way of contrast. Each of them affects both the physical and the mental constitution; but blindness, which is a grievous bodily affliction, falls but lightly on the mind; while the effect of deafness is the extreme reverse of this-it touches only one bodily organ, and that not visibly, but the calamity which befalls the mind is one of the most desperate in “the catalogue of human woes." The deprivation under which the born-deaf labor is not merely, or so much, the exclusion of sound, as it is the complete exclusion of all that information and instruction which are conveyed to our minds, and all the ideas which are suggested to them, by means of sound. The deaf know almost nothing, because they hear nothing. We, who do hear, acquire knowledge through the medium of language-through the sounds we hear, and the words we read-ever hour. But as regards the deaf and dumb, speech tells them nothing, because they cannot hear; and books teach them nothing, because they cannot read; so that their original condition is far worse than that of persons who “can neither read nor write” (one of our most common expressions for extreme ignorance); it is that of persons who can neither read, nor write, nor hear, nor speak; who cannot ask you for information when they want it, and could not understand you, if you wished to give it to them. Your difficulty is to understand their difficulty; and the difficulty which first meets the teacher is, how to simplify and dilute his instructions down to their capacity for receiving them.
A class thus cut off from all communication through the ear, can only be addressed through the eye; and the means employed in the instruction of the deaf and dumb are -1. The visible language of pictures, and of signs and gestures; 2. The finger-alphabet (or dactylology), and writing, which make them acquainted with our own written language; and in some cases, 3. Articulation, and reading on the lips, which introduce them to the ase of spoken language. The education of the deaf and dumb must be twofold-you must awaken and inform their minds by giving them ideas and knowledge, and you must cultivate them by means of language. The use of signs will give them a knowledge of things; but to this must be added a knowledge of words. They are therefore taught, from the first, that words convey the same ideas to our minds which pictures and signs do to theirs; they are therefore required to change signs for words until the written or printed character is as readily understood as the picture or the sign. This, of course, is a long process, as it has to be repeated with every word. Names of visible objects (nouns), of visible qualities (adjectives), and of visible actions (verbs), are gradually taught, and are readily acquired; but the syntax of language, abstract and metaphorical terms, a copious diction, idiomatic phraseology, the nice distinctions between words called synonymous, and those which are identical in form, but of different signification—these are far more difficult of attainment; they can only be mastered through indomitable perseverance and application on the part of the pupil, in addition to the utmost skill and ingenuity of the teacher. The wonder, therefore, surely is, seeing the point of starting, that this degree of advancement is ever reached at all."
Yet it has been set forth by otherwise respectable authority, that the deaf and dumb are a “gifted race;" that they are remarkable for “their promptitude in defining abstract terms;" and ihose who ought to have known better, have strengthened this delusion, by putting forth, as the bona fide answers of deaf-mutes, those brilliant aphorisms and definitions of Massieu and Clerc, which are so often quoted at public meetings, by eloquent speakers who know nothing of the subject. It is very well known to those who are acquainted with the subject, that the so-called definitions of Hope, Gratitude, Time, Eternity, etc., were not Massieu's at all, but those of his master, the abbé Sicard. The influence of these fallacies has been most mischievous; they raise expectation to an unreasonable height, for it is thought that what was done by “the celebrated pupil of the abbé Sicard,” may be done every day: and disappointment is the inevitable consequence. The honest, laborious teacher who cannot produce these marvelous results, and will not stoop to deception, has often to labor on without that appreciation and encouragement which are so eminently his due; the cause of deaf-mute instruction suffers, and a young institution is sometimes crippled by the failure of support, which was first given from one impulse, and is now withdrawn from another-not a whit more unreasonable than the first, but very unfortunate in its consequences.
The course of instruction is very much the same in all the public schools of Gt. Britain, but a vigorous effort is now being made, by the advocates of what is called the “German system,” to teach by oral instruction only. If they can produce, on an ertensive scale, the results which have been obtained in some special and exceptional cases, they will assuredly deserve all the success they hope for, and merit the highest commendation. But it will not be sufficient merely to show that their system is superior to the one in present use, unless they can also show that it can be as extensively applied. The dispensers of the funds of our institutions are bound to uphold that
system which will confer the largest practicable amount of benefit upon the largest possible number of persons. To make a few briliant scholars, and to produce a number of ready and intelligible speakers, will certainly be a very creditable achievement; but that will not justify any claim to supersede the humbler but more useful system under which so many thousands of our deaf-mute fellow.citizens have been rendered competent for the duties of life, in the workshop, in their families, and in society, and to " walk in the house of God as friends.”
The manual alphabet in common use in the schools of Gt. Britain is the two-handed one, though the other is used in some of the Irish institutions, and is regarded with favor by a few of the English teachers. The arguments in its favor, like those for the decimal currency, may probably be admitted; it would be better if we had it. But the rival system has got possession, and is in familiar use, and persons are apt to think that the inconveniences of making the change would outweigh the advantages to be expected from it. The institutions in Great Britain are supported by an. nual subscriptions, donations, and legacies, and by the payments of pupils for their board. The larger benefactions are invested, where the an. nual income from ordinary sources will admit of it. Committees, chosen from the body of subscribers, direct the affairs of these institutions, the executive officers being the headmaster and the secretary; but in some cases the sole charge is intrusted to the principal. The gentlemen who fill this office have devoted their whole lives to the work; some of them have also done good service by their writings upon the subject. The census report, 1871, specially men. tions the works ‘of Messrs. Baker of Doncaster, Scott of Exeter, and Buxton of Liverpool, each of whom has helped to make it better known and better understood than it could possibly be when it was treated by men with no practical knowledge, as a merely literary topic, or a subject of philosophical curiosity. Justice also requires the mention here of the valuable writings of the late Dr. H. P. Peet, of New York, and other American instructors of the deaf and dumb. The institutions in the western world are munificently supported by grants from the states, and appear to be admirably managed. The staff of teachers is numerous, able, and efficient, and a high degree of success may fairly be expected where the work is carried on under advantages which are unknown in the schools of Great Britain. At Washington, a college has
been established, and is in successful operation, under the presidency of Dr. E. M. Gal. laudet, the youngest son of the founder of the American asylum. In New York, an elder brother of this gentleman, the Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Gallaudet, has ever since 1852 conducted services in his church in the sign language, and in 1872, organized a commission to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of adult deaf mutes, in which he has the co-operation of three clergymen and one layman, who, during the year ending Oct. 29, 1873, held services for deaf-mutes in 31 churches in the principal cities of the United States.
In London, a church has been built to meet the same necessity, and religious services are conducted by two chaplains and four laymen, in various parts of the metropolis; Manchester also posseses a chaplain and lay-helpers employed in the same work; in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin, also in Birmingham, and the large manufacturing towns of Yorkshire, special funds are raised, and special agents employed, to promote in like manner the social and religious benefit of the deaf and dumb. In Liverpool the same results are aimed at by voluntary agency, where, besides the Sunday services, lectures are given during the week, when a library and reading-room are thrown open, a penny-bank has been brought into successful operation, and a benevolent society visits the sick, helps the needy, and buries the dead.
These are the means at present employed for the benefit of the deaf and dumb, and it is no small honor to the present century, which has won so many proud distinctions in other fields of enterprise and usefulness, that it should have done so much for those who for so many generations were utterly excluded from light and knowledge.
DEAF AND DUMB (ante). The organization of institutions to educate the deaf and dumb in the United States dates from the early part of this century. An essay on Teaching the Deaf to Speak, by Dr. W. Thornton, of Philadelphia, was published in 1793, and in 1811, a grandson of Braidwood tried to establish a school in New York and Virginia, but failed in both instances. The circumstances which led to the opening of the Connecticut asylum at Hartford, April 15, 1817, are as follows: A deaf-mute little girl in the family of Dr. Cogswell, an eminent physician in Hartford, attracting some attention, it was soon afterward found that there were other deaf-mutes in the country. It was decided to send some one abroad to acquire the art of educating them; and to establish a school for this purpose funds were raised, and the Rev. F. F. Gallaudet, D.D., was selected for this work. He left the United States May 15, 1816, to execute this mission. The institution was incorporated by the Connecticut legislature in May, 1816, with an appropriation of $5,000. Dr. Gallaudet returned to America in August of the same year, accompanied by Laurent Clerc, a deaf-mute pupil of the abbé Sicard, and they immediately commenced collecting funds to start the school. The enterprise excited general interest; individuals and churches contributed liberally, and the sum of $12,000 was raised in the course of a few months. Early in 1819, the government of Massachusetts followed the example of Connecticut by providing for the education in the asylum of twenty indigent pupils from that state. The appropriation was afterwards enlarged so as to meet the demands of this entire class. New Hampshire made a similar provision in 1821, and Vermont and Maine in 1825. In 1834, South Carolina and Georgia decided to send their indigent deaf-mutes to the asylum, end in 1848, Rhode Island came into the same arrangement. In 1819, congress made a grant to the institution of 23 acres of wild land, the proceeds of which now form a fund of $339,000. It was owing to this munificent gift that the name of the school was changed to the “ American Asylum.” Before the school at Hartford was in operation, efforts had been made to establish a similar institution in the city of New York; a society was formed which was incorporated April 15, 1817, as the “New York Institution for Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb." Watson's book was taken as a guide, and articulation was taught in cases where the scholar appeared to possess the necessary aptitude, but this method did not prove very successful; and in 1827, the legislature, which had provided since 1822 for the support of 32 pupils, authorized an investigation by the superintendent of common schools of the state, who recommended in his report the introduction into the New York school of the improved methods in use at Hartford and Philadelphia. In consequence of that recommendation the directors finally succeeded in engaging, in 1831, the permanent services of Harvey P. Peet, LL.D., then one of the most efficient instructors in the American asylum. He served as principal from 1831 to 1867, and has a worthy successor in his son Isaac Lewis Peet, LL.D. Under the management of these two able teachers the institution has taken its place among the most successful schools for deaf-mutes in the world. Its grounds comprise about 26 acres, upon the banks of the Hudson river at Washington heights. The institution has a shoe-shop, tailorshop, and carpenter-shop, a printing-office, garden, and seamstress rooms connected with the school, in which the pupils receive competent instruction to prepare them for self-support by manual labor, as in all our large asylums. Prof. E. Henry Currier, a leading teacher of this establishment, has secured better results than are usually met with in giving articulation to the dumb and lip-reading to the deaf. Most of his pupils have attained such distinctness of pronunciation and such quickness in recognizing the fleeting indications of words which are made in ordinary utterance, that they have given their instructor a reputation which is attracting more and more pupils of this class to
the institution. The method of teaching articulation by visible speech was invented by A. Mellville Bell in England about 1848, and consists of a species of phonetic writing based on the action of the vocal organs in producing sound. The Pennsylvania institution was organized at Philadelphia in 1820 by Joseph Seixas, a Jew of Portuguese descent. Among its first instructors were Laurent Clerc and Lewis Weld, the latter filling the office of principal till 1830, when he was recalled to Hartford to succeed Dr. Gallaudet. The Kentucky asylum at Danville was incorporated in 1823, and the Ohio asylum at Columbus was opened in 1829. Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Michigan incorporated institutions, in the course of the next 25 years, and at the present time every state has provided for the education of the deaf and dumb who are adopted “as wards of the common. wealth;" the state regarding it as a primary duty that they shall not be excluded from those educational privileges accorded to every member of the community. Most of these institutions derive their whole income from annual legislative appropriations. The usual term of attendance is 5 years, but the legal term of instruction in most states is 7 years, and may be extended in cases of good scholarship; the average annual cost for board, lodging, and tuition for each pupil supported by the state is $325. There are 51 institutions in the United States, a national college at Washington organized by E. M. Gallaudet, LL.D., and 6 institutions in Canada. Religious services have been conducted since 1850 by the Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, D.D., eldest son of the founder of the American asylum, at St. Ann's chapel for deaf-mutes, in New York city, but he and his assistants preach frequently in other parts of the country. The American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, a quarterly periodical, has been published since 1847; conventions of the principals and instructors have been held every few years since 1850, at which papers containing valuable information have been read. Elementary manuals for the deaf-mute have been written in this country by H. B. Peet, J. S. Hutton, Jacobs, Keep, and others. An enumeration of the deaf and dumb is made in the decennial census of the United States, and the proportion is about 1 in 2,000. Of the post-natal causes it has been found that scarlet fever has since 1830 produced 20 to 25 per cent of the total cases; scrofula and spotted fever have also caused a large proportion. The following table gives statistics for the year 1879: (In 1881, there were 55 institutions in the U. S.; 7117 pupils.)
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE INSTRUCTION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB, 1879.
26 2300 61 | 3850 43 5000
25500 21 1300 100 3003
175 600 3300 1000
American Asylum....... Hartford, Conn.......
Washington Heigh New York Institution...
New York, N. Y. Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pa... Kentucky
Danville, Ky.... Ohio
Columbus, Ohio. Virginia
Staunton, Va..... Indiana
Indianapolis, Ind.. Tennessee School...
Knoxville, Tenn... North Carolina Inst'n
Raleigh, NC... Illinois
Jacksonville, Ill. 11 Georgia
Cave Spring, Ga.. South Carolina
Cedar Spring, S. C... Missouri
Fulton, Mo......... Louisiana
Baton Rouge, La Wisconsin Institute...
Delavan, Wis.. Michigan Institution.
.. . .... lowa
Council Bluffs, Iowa. Mississippi
Jackson, Miss. Texas Asylum...
Austin, Texas. Columbia Institution
Washington, D. C.. 21 Alabama
Talladega, Ala ... California
Berkeley, Cal...... Kansas
Olathe, Kansas,... Le Couteulx St. Mary's Inst. Buffalo, N. Y..... Minnesota Institution
Faribault, Minn...... Inst'n for Improved Instr'n. New York, N. Y....... Clarke Institution..
Northampton, Mass.. Arkansas Institute ..
Little Rock, Ark...... Maryland School .....
Frederick City, Md... Nebraska Institute...
Omaha, Neb........ Horace Mann School.
Boston, Mass......... Whipple's Home School... Mystic River, Conn... St. Joseph's Institute .. Fordham, N. Y..... West Virginia Institution Romney, West Va.. Oregon Institution....
Salem, Oregon...... 36 Institution for Colored...... Baltimore, Md.......
18 19 20
889 150 208
50 110 140 130 199