Ohio School for the Deaf History







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Patterson, Robert. "History of the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb." In Histories of American Schools for the Deaf, 1817-1893. Edward Allen Fay, ed. 3 volumes Washington, DC: Volta Bureau, 1893.

Page 17

The Ohio Institution

The Ohio Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, the fifth in the order of foundation, was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, passed in 1827. It was the first established upon the idea that it is the primary duty of the State to place within the reach of every child the means of education, whereby to become capable of discharging the duties of citizenship. This grand idea of educated citizenship was distinctly declared in the ordinance of 1787, or, as its legal title reads, "An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio River," in the following words: "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged."

When the State Constitution was adopted in 1802, it contained the following provision: "Religion, morality and knowledge being essentially necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of instruction shall forever be encouraged by legislative provision, not inconsistent with conscience." The opposition to State education by the "strict constructionists" was wide spread and aggressive, but the friends of the cause took firm hold of the idea, agitating it until it was developed and enacted into a law in 1825-the first law that authorized a general tax, to use the language of the law itself, "for the instruction of youth of every class and grade without distinction, in reading, writing, arithmetic and other necessary branches of a common education." The law provided for a tax of one-half of a mill to be levied by the County Commissioners upon the county duplicate for the use and maintenance of common schools.

As a result of the long and bitter agitation upon the subject of education, the way was prepared for the establishment of the Institution by the Legislature. To Rev. James Hoge, D.D., more than to any other man, belongs the credit for bringing about the consummation. He was a prominent Presbyterian minister of Columbus. A staunch friend of popular education,

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