|Statue of Thomas Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell|
Photo credit NCinDC shared through Creative Commons license.
I am not going to recreate my class paper here, but I do want to direct you to a resource I found in my research. I recommend that anyone who has an interest in learning more about deaf education, the history of American Sign Language, or Thomas Gallaudet should read a biography written by his son, Edward Miner Gallaudet and published in 1888. This fascinating book includes many letters written by Thomas Gallaudet. There is even a letter from Alice Cogswell. The book is called Life of Thomas Gallaudet and is available to read online courtesy of the Disability History Museum at this link:
Thomas Gallaudet's legacy continues today. Gallaudet's school in Hartford, founded in 1817, is now known as the American School for the Deaf and has more than 4,000 graduates. Gallaudet University, founded by his son Edward and renamed in 1894 to honor Thomas Gallaudet, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The school's latest enrollment figures are close to 2,000 students for academic year 2011-2012.
If you've ever wondered if one person can make a difference, the answer is yes. Just remember Thomas Gallaudet and be inspired to see what you can do with your life.