PART 2 – Continuation – bold added by me –
Main point of Part 2 – KNOWLEDGE and MEDIA can = POWER of, by and for the GREATER GOOD
1880: The National Association of the Deaf Founded
The Genesis of the National Association
By George William Veditz
From: Deaf-Mutes Journal
Genesis of the National Assoication. Deaf Mutes Journal 1933, 62 (22) June 1.
American deaf-mute education, measured in terms of the Hartford School, was then only thirty-three years old. The twelve schools then existing had only a fraction of their present enrollment and were hardly above the rank of small primary public schools. The number of well-educated deaf was small, and men like Edmund Booth, Henry Flournoy and John Carlin rose above the rest like isolated mountain peaks above a plain. And then occurred a great event in our educational history. The first “high class” ever graduated from any of our schools was sent out of Fanwood in 1851. That class included David R. Tillinghast, John R. Burnett, James Sullivan Wells, Charles Milan Grow, and Lucinda Hills, later to become Mrs. Grow. All became teachers of the deaf—Tillinghast in Raleigh; Burnett in Indiana; Mr. and Mrs. Grow first in Raleigh and later in Maryland: and Wells in Texas, under Jacob Van Nostrand, and later in Baltimore, where it became my privilege to know him intimately and honor and esteem him as one of the truest gentlemen I ever knew. I knew them all except Burnett, whom I never met, and value the association as one of my inalienable treasures.
These five formed the vanguard of those intelligent, well-educated deaf men and women from all ranks and conditions of life, from town and farm, who later sprang from Gallaudet College and exercised and are still exercising a profound influence upon the thousands of students in our schools. The advent of this Fanwood high class of 1851 was a necessary factor in rendering possible the successful launching thirty years later of our present National Association. It lifted our educational standards out of and above the old-time primary school conceptions and was the forerunner of the college to be born thirteen years afterward in 1864. It also opened the gates to the admission of deaf men and women to the faculties of our schools.
Though the matter of a national association had been agitated at Hartford in 1851 by Thomas Brown, of West Henniker, N.H., George Homer and Jonathan Marsh, of Boston, nothing came of it. Henry Flournoy, the impractical dreamer, had dropped below the horizon, Edmund Booth, his antagonist, was out of the picture in far away Anamosa, Iowa, and Thomas Brown was isolated in New Hampshire. What was most needed was non-existent—a widely-circulated newspaper by, of and for, the independent adult deaf.
But that paper eventually came into being. Around 1872, Henry C. Rider, then of Malone, later of Mexico, N. Y., founded the DEAF-MUTES’ JOURNAL. His was the zeal of the pioneer, and the paper promised to live. I recall that I wrote my first newsletter to the JOURNAL from Baltimore in 1876, and I have a notion that the distinction of being the oldest pencil-pusher for its columns in point of service belongs either to Papa Greener, of Ohio, or to myself.
Having the paper, there was need of a wise guiding mind and of more solid financial backing. The stronger backing was provided by the New York School. The guiding spirit was provided by inscrutable Fate in the spirit of Edwin Allan Hodgson, beyond cavil, all things considered, the ablest among all the men, deaf or hearing, who have conducted the destinies of papers by, of and for the deaf, whether independent or part of the industrial equipment of our schools. Hodgson obtained control of the publication in 1879, moving it to the New York School, and in the fifty-four years since elapsed, he has been the JOURNAL, and the JOURNAL has been Hodgson. With the passing of Hodgson we shall see the passing of the JOURNAL to be succeeded by some dinky little Fanwood magazine, unless Mr. Skyberg can bring himself to visualize its immense valuable to the deaf at large, and decide to continue it along its present Hodgsonian lines.
In 1879 and shortly before Hodgson became its arbiter, some one brought up in the columns of the JOURNAL the subject of a national association. Who has that distinction, I do not know. Page Hodgson, please. If he does not know no one ever will. But he saw that the subject was NEWS. He pushed it into prominence in his editorials, and for the first time the American deaf had something of national importance to themselves to engage their minds. Hodgson’s propaganda brought things to a focus, and it was decided that the time was ripe for a national convention. Had the effort been made at any earlier date it would have ended in failure. Had any other than Hodgson been master-mind of the JOURNAL, there would have been no effort at all.