The Gallaudet family has been noted as a remarkable family throughout
America’s early history.
Two Gallaudets well known before Thomas Hopkins
Gallaudet were Elisha Gallaudet and Peter Wallace
Figure 1: Gallaudet family
crest (Fisher 2010).
Gallaudet was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 10, 1787.
At the age of 14, Gallaudet was a student at Yale University and then went on to
graduate with his master’s degree in 1810.
He became a preacher in 1814, but he did not spend his life actively teaching.
First Interest in Teaching the Deaf
In 1814 Thomass Hopkins met Alice Cogswell.
Became interested in teaching her how to communicate.
Mason Cogswell financed trip to Europe for Gallaudet to visit schools for deaf
Operate schools for the deaf located in England.
Focused on lip reading and speech = oral method.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet did not think oral method was best way to teach.
The family was very secretive.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet met Abbe Sicard while in England.
Abbe Sicard was the director of the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets.
Gallaudet traveled back to France to learn more about the education at their school.
Returned to America with one of Sicard’s faculty members Laurent Clerc.
The American School for the Deaf
The Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb
Persons later became the American School for the Deaf.
The American School for the Deaf has served as the “mother school”.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s influence dramatically influenced the future of deaf
education in America.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet married Sohpia Fowler.
His youngest of eight children, Edward Miner Gallaudet moved to Washington
D.C. where he ran a school for Deaf Students.
Figure 3: Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. (Thomas 2013).
During the later parts of his life he spent his time writing children’s books.
Thomas Gallaudet died on September 10, 1851.
Devoted his life to Deaf education, starting with Alice Cogswell.
Changed the Deaf culture of America forever.
Location: near the chapel entrance of
Added in 1887, 100 years after Thomas
Gallaudet was born.
Remembrance of his importance in Deaf
Figure 4: Statue of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and first
student Alice Cogswell in front of Gallaudet University.
ASD Beginnings. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2013, from American School for the Deaf website: http://www.asd-1817.org/page.cfm?p=358
Crouch, B. R. and B. H. G. (2007). Hearing with the Eye: The Rise of Deaf Education in the United States. In J. V. V. C. (Ed.), The Deaf History Reader. (pp. 24-46).
Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.
Fisher, S. (2010). Gallaudet Family History. Gallaudet Technologies. Retrieved from http://gallaudetfamily.com/gallaudet.html
French, D. C. (2013). Gallaudet, Thomas Hopkins: Statue near the chapel entrance in Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. dcMemorials.com. Retrieved from
Laurent Clerc: Apostle to the Deaf People of the New World. (2008). Retrieved November 17, 2013, from Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center website:
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. (2013). Retrieved November 17, 2013, from Gallaudet University website:
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. (2008, April 2). Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Thomas_Hopkins_Gallaudet