Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet


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(1787–1851) Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and his two sons, Thomas and Edward Miner, are renowned for their commitment to the education of deaf people. Born in Philadelphia, Gallaudet moved to Hartford, Connecticut, at the age of 13. After graduation from Yale University, poor health forced him to give up law school. Subsequently, he worked as a traveling salesperson and entered Andover Theological Seminary, graduating in 1814. During this time, the father of a deaf girl who was impressed with Gallaudet's ability to communicate with his daughter, raised money to send him to Europe to study methods for educating deaf people. In 1816 Gallaudet returned to the United States accompanied by Laurent Franc, one of the outstanding teachers at the Institute Royal des Sourds-Muets in Paris. In 1817 Gallaudet established the first free American school for the deaf in Hartford. The school taught deaf students and trained teachers of the deaf; Gallaudet remained its principal until 1830.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.