Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

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For Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet's eldest son, see Thomas Gallaudet (Episcopal priest).
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
Thomas hopkins gallaudet posthumous oil painting by george f wright 1851.jpg
Painting by George F. Wright in 1851.
Born(1787-12-10)December 10, 1787
DiedSeptember 10, 1851(1851-09-10) (aged 63)
Occupation Minister, educator, co-founder of the first permanent school for the deaf in North America.
Spouse(s) Sophia Fowler

The Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D.,(December 10, 1787 – September 10, 1851 [1] ) was an American educator. Along with Laurent Clerc and Mason Cogswell, he co-founded the first institution for the education of the deaf in North America, and he became its first principal. When opened on April 15, 1817, it was called the "Connecticut Asylum (at Hartford) for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons," but it is now known as the American School for the Deaf.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Laurent Clerc French-American deaf educator

Louis Laurent Marie Clerc was a French teacher called "The Apostle of the Deaf in America" and was regarded as the most renowned deaf person in American Deaf History. He was taught by Abbe Sicard and deaf educator Jean Massieu, at the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets in Paris. With Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, he co-founded the first school for the deaf in North America, the Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, on April 15, 1817 in the old Bennet's City Hotel, Hartford, Connecticut. The school was subsequently renamed the American School for the Deaf and in 1821 moved to 139 Main Street, West Hartford. The school remains the oldest existing school for the deaf in North America.

Mason Fitch Cogswell American physician

Mason Fitch Cogswell was a United States physician.



Ga "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2014-02-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)</ref> He attended Yale University, earning his bachelor's degree in 1805, [2] graduating at the age of seventeen, [3] with highest honors, [4] and then earned a master's degree at Yale in 1808. [5] [6] He engaged in many things such as studying law, trade, and studying theology. In 1814, Gallaudet graduated from Andover Theological Seminary after a two-year course of study. [7] However, he declined several offers of pastorates, due to ongoing concerns about his health. [8]

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Bachelors degree Undergraduate academic degree

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

His path in life was altered when he met Alice Cogswell, on the 25th of May, 1814, the nine-year-old deaf daughter of a neighbor, Dr. Mason Cogswell. [9] Gallaudet had returned to his parents' home in Hartford to recuperate from his seminary studies. On that day, as he observed Alice playing apart from other children, he wanted to teach her. Gallaudet started to teach Alice what different objects were called by writing their names and drawing pictures of them with a stick in the dirt. Dr. Cogswell was impressed and invited Gallaudet to continue teaching Alice through the summer. While many of his friends became pastors or found mission fields overseas, Gallaudet found his mission field at home. [10] The next year Cogswell, with several businessmen and clergy, asked Gallaudet to travel to Europe to study methods for teaching deaf students, especially those of the Braidwood family in England. Gallaudet found the Braidwoods unwilling to share knowledge of their oral communication method and himself financially limited. At the same time, he also was not satisfied that the oral method produced desirable results.

Alice Cogswell The first student of an official deaf school in the United States of America

Alice Cogswell was the inspiration to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet for the creation of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Thomas Braidwood (1715–1806) was a Scottish educator, significant in the history of deaf education. He was the founder of Britain's first school for the deaf.

While still in Great Britain, he met Abbé Sicard, head of the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris, and two of its deaf faculty members, Laurent Clerc and Jean Massieu. Sicard invited Gallaudet to Paris to study the school's method of teaching the deaf using manual communication. Impressed with the manual method, Gallaudet studied teaching methodology under Sicard, learning sign language from Massieu and Clerc, who were both highly educated graduates of the school.

Great Britain island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.

Roch-Ambroise Cucurron Sicard French abbé and instructor of the deaf

Roch-Ambroise Cucurron Sicard was a French abbé and instructor of the deaf.

Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris

Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris is the current name of the school for the Deaf founded by Charles-Michel de l'Épée, in stages, between 1750 and 1760 in Paris, France.

Having persuaded Clerc to accompany him, Gallaudet sailed back to America. The two men, with the help of Dr. Cogwell, toured New England and successfully raised private and public funds to fund a school for deaf students in Hartford, which later became known as the American School for the Deaf (ASD), in 1817. Young Alice was one of the first seven students at ASD.

New England Region of the United States

New England is a region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.

American School for the Deaf high school

The American School for the Deaf (ASD) is the oldest permanent school for the deaf in the United States. It was founded April 15, 1817, in West Hartford, Connecticut, by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Dr. Mason Cogswell, and Laurent Clerc and became a state-supported school later that year. It was also the second and present site of Hubbard’s school.

In 1821, he married one of his former students, Sophia Fowler. They had 8 children as well.

Sophia Fowler Gallaudet deaf educator and wife of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

Sophia Fowler Gallaudet was the wife of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. As the founding matron of the school that became Gallaudet University, she played an important role in deaf history, even playing a key role in lobbying Congressmen in the effort to establish Gallaudet. She was appointed to be the first matron of the Columbia Institution on May 30, 1857 and held the position for nine years, until August 1, 1866.

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet died in Hartford on September 10, 1851, [11] aged 63, and was buried in Hartford's Cedar Hill Cemetery plot section 3. There is a residence hall named in his honor at nearby Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. There is also a residence hall named in his honor at the University of Hartford in West Hartford.


His youngest child Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917) founded in 1864 the first college for the deaf, which, in 1986, became Gallaudet University. He was president for 46 years. The university also offers education for those in elementary, middle, and high school. The elementary school on the Gallaudet University Campus is named the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES); the middle and high school is the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). he went to france with dr. mason cogwell.

Gallaudet had another son, Thomas Gallaudet, who became an Episcopal priest and also worked for the deaf.

Gallaudet's father, Peter Wallace Gallaudet, was a personal secretary to US President George Washington, when the office of the President was located in Philadelphia. [12] [13]

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was the eldest of 13 children. His younger siblings' names were: Edgar (1789–90), Charles (1792–1830), (unnamed twins, 1793), Catherine (1793–1856), James (1796–1878), William Edgar (1797–1821), Ann Watts (1800–50), Jane (1801–35), Theodore (1805–85), Edward (1808–47), and Wallace (1811–16). [14] William Edgar Gallaudet graduated from Yale with a B.A. in 1815.

Statue of Alice Cogswell and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Statue of alice cogswell and thomas hopkins gallaudet.jpg
Statue of Alice Cogswell and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.



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  1. Barnard, Henry. 1852. Tribute to Gallaudet, Hartford: Brockett & Hutchinson, p. 44.
  2. Gallaudet, E.M., "Life of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," pp. 19–25.
  3. Barnard, Henry, "Tribute to Gallaudet," p. 10.
  4. Heman, Humphrey. 1857. The Life and Labors of the Rev. T.H. Gallaudet, LL.D., New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, p. 23.
  5. Dexter's volume on early Yale graduates
  6. archBishop, Lottie Genevieve. 1939 Historical Register of Yale University. New Haven, Conn., Yale university. p. 272 Link to Google Books
  7. Gallard, E.M., "Life of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," pp. 38–41.
  8. Chang, Nathan, "The Edwardsean Soteriology of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," Evangelical Theological Society, 2010.
  9. Gallaudet, E.M., "Life of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," p.46.
  10. Gallaudet later wrote to a friend that the deaf school stood "on missionary ground. No other object than the salvation of the souls of the peoples can be named of the highest moment." Chang, Nathan, "The Edwardsean Soteriology of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," Evangelical Theological Society, 2010.
  11. "TimesMachine: September 18, 1851". The New York Times. September 18, 1851. Retrieved July 7, 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  12. Boatner, Maxine Tull, "Voice of the Deaf," p. 1
  13. "Notable Gallaudet's in American history". Archived from the original on January 14, 2004. Retrieved 2017-09-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) on Web site of direct descendants of TH Gallaudet.
  14. Boatner, Maxine Tull. 1959. Voice of the Deaf, p. xiv, citing Virginia W. Somerville.
  15. Gallaudet, E.M., "Life of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet," p. 319.
  16. Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, p. 6 (PDF Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine )