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 18

he was one of the seven commissioners appointed by Governor Trimble, in 1822, to take steps looking towards a school system for the State. His appointment on the commission led to his interest in deaf-mute education. A letter, bearing the date of Jan. 3, 1822, was received by Governor Trimble from the directors of the Pennsylvania Institution, established in 1820, describing the facilities possessed by the school and inviting Ohio to send pupils upon the same terms charged to citizens of their own State. Among other things the letter said: "Returns of the Deaf and Dumb have been made from the different counties of the State, and what was apprehended by some is now reduced to a painful certainty-their number being found much greater than had been generally supposed. This, we presume, will prove to be the case in our sister States considering how much neglect such unfortunate persons too often suffer, and the motive to concealment which their friends and parents find in their personal feelings, when there is no prospect of giving them relief."

"Had you, Sir, seen our earliest pupils at the time of their admission, and could you now see them, and compare their past with their present condition, we venture to say that you would find abundant reason for exerting your individual and official influence, to obtain the means of affording to these unhappy objects of your own State the benefits of instruction. The translation, indeed, off one of the inferior species of creation, to the human species, would be only in a degree more wonderful than we have in several instances witnessed in our scholars; and we may add, as a great encouragement, that thirst for farther improvement, and rapidity of acquirement, after the delights of knowledge are once tasted, seem to be characteristic of the Deaf and Dumb. In these respects they appear rather to have the advantage of most children blessed with the possession of all their senses."

What wonder that these statements made a profound impression upon Dr. Hoge's mind, and awoke in his heart an interest that never allowed him to rest until he had helped bring about the establishment of a school for the deaf in his own State?

Although the Legislature did not accept the invitation to send pupils to Philadelphia, an act was passed at the next session, requiring "the listers of the several townships in each county of the State, at the time of taking the enumeration of

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