GEORGE VEDITZ, 1861-1937

GEORGE VEDITZ, 1861-1937

Every American school child is taught who George Washington was – what if every Deaf child grew up knowing who George Veditz was?

• Son of German immigrants
• Bilingual in German and English
• Deaf at age 9 from Scarlet Fever.
• Attended Maryland School for the Deaf and learned American Sign Language (ASL).
• Passed entrance exam for Gallaudet College at 17.
• Valedictorian for Gallaudet College Class of 1884.
• Accepted to John Hopkins University but began teaching instead
• Taught at Maryland School for the Deaf and Colorado School for the Deaf
• Editor of MD and CO School Newspapers
• Chess Champion and Raised Pigeons

• Founded
o Maryland School for the Deaf Alumni 1892
o Gallaudet Alumni Association of the Deaf 1889
o Colorado State Association of the Deaf 1904

• President
o Maryland School for the Deaf Alumni Association
o Colorado State Association of the Deaf
o National Association of the Deaf 1904-1910

• NAD Motion Picture Project
After collecting $5,000 the National Association of the Deaf from 1910 – 1920 filmed several Deaf and Hearing individuals using ASL. Rhetorical speeches, sermons, short performances, etc were included.

Page 1

This project was coordinated largely by Roy Stewart at Veditz’s urging. Veditz had typed out a transcript of his “Preservation of Sign Language” ASL speech based on his memory of what he had signed.

Page 2

Transcript courtesy of Gallaudet University Archives
—————————

Quotes of Veditz:

“Wherever the deaf have received an education the method by which it is imparted is the burning question of the day with them, for the deaf are what their schooling make them more than any other class of humans. They are facing not a theory but a condition, for they are first, last, and all the time the people of the eye.” – 1910

Proceedings of the Ninth Convention of the National Association of the Deaf and the Third World’s Congress of the Deaf, 1910 (Los Angeles, CA: Philocophus Press, 1912, p. 30 – response to AG Bell’s letter declining to endorse the NAD’s resolution for ASL and English in Deaf schools.

“We possess and jealously guard a language different and apart from any other in common use – a language which nevertheless is precisely what all-wise Mother Nature designed for the people of the eye, a language with no fixed form or literature in the past, but which we are now striving to fix and give a distinct literature of its own by means of the moving picture film.” – 1910

Proceedings of the Ninth Convention of the National Association of the Deaf and the Third World’s Congress of the Deaf, 1910 (Los Angeles, CA: Philocophus Press, 1912, p.22 – The President’s Message)

“I hope that you will cherish and defend our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift that God has given to us.” – 1913 Veditz’s own text transcription from his Preservation of Sign Language speech

Veditz refered to AG Bell as “the High Priest of the Oral Method in this country.”

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carl Schroeder
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 08:24:36

    High Priest of the Oral Method = Hearing Supremacist

  2. Barb DiGi
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 09:31:47

    Awesome! I made a print out from the primary source paper that you just posted showing Veditz’s typewritten transcript and that will be treasured! Thanks so much for your guide!

  3. ASL Risen
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 10:31:37

    Thanks so much for showing us the beautiful and awesome old letter from George Veditz!!!!

    To answer your question: YES every Deaf child grew up SHOULD and NEED knowing who George Veditz was while we, the American kids did already know who George Washington was!

  4. pdurr
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 09:38:49

    thanks for u comments

    Yes, I agree – every Deaf child should know who Veditz was, his famous quotes, his endless advocacy, and what he stood for

    re: the letter – yes they r precious – Carol Padden did an awesome job translating Veditz’s speech and when Veditz’s actual letter was found, Padden’s work was very close to his memory of what he had signed – some different word choices and orders here and there but pretty darn close considering Veditz didnt have a telepromptor to work from and was writing the text soley from memory.

    Great sources to check out re: the translating of Veditz’s speech and the finding of this transcript by Veditz:
    Padden, Carol
    Translating Veditz
    Sign Language Studies – Volume 4, Number 3, Spring 2004, pp. 244-260

    Also mentioned in Padden and Humphries – Inside Deaf Culture and Voices from a Culture

  5. Trackback: People of the Eye » Blog Archive » Another Deaf Ancestor / Hero - Dr. John Hotchkiss
  6. Trackback: the wisdom of Veditz « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910
  7. PopeMistress
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 04:18:52

    just need something to read before my bedtime…

    reading the very old paper… Wow!!!! Falling in love with George’s beautiful language!
    “their teachers have held them off a hand of steel” —> in first page: George was the first one from his old film warned about teachers did physical abused Deaf children from other countries!!! I gotta go watch George film and I think I have it with me but not sure where I put it…. I will need to look for that film tmw..

    Still on first page with 4th paragraph and only 1 sentence: These teachers are sacrificing them to the oral *Moloch or Molooh (spell which one?)* that destroys the minds and the soul of the deaf. —> that was another warning of mentally abused….

    Still on last paragraph: …we are fast approaching a crisis in America deaf-mute education…. He did warned !!!!! He again warned us on 2nd page too!!! Wow!!! Thanks again, Patti for post this blog!!!

  8. Trackback: ASL Arises! « PEOPLE OF THE EYE -…first, last, and all the time” – g. veditz 1910

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