Poor Sam Tranter
The lot of the uneducated deaf and dumb in this world is a pitiable
one, and their isolation is keenly felt. Often have we seen some of this
portion of suffering humanity unable to plead for themselves, or tell
their tale of woe or hardship. Such was the condition of poor Sam
Tranter. Though Sam was never in a Deaf and Dumb Institution, his skill
and plans for worldly prospects were extraordinary. In his boyhood he
was left friendless and uncared for, but persuaded a shoemaker to give
him work, at which poor Sam was fairly successful; owing, however, to
the man's ill treatment he had to leave, and, to save himself from
starving, went in the workhouse. After a brief stay he again went forth
to try his hand as a shoeblack, and after various attempts to shift for
himself, he began to master difficulties by wonderful energy and
perseverance, and there is no doubt had the poor fellow been properly
taught in a Deaf and Dumb Institution, he would have risen in life.
After a time Sam commenced selling cockles, mussels, and oysters.
From a small beginning he increased, and in course of time he took a
shop, and employed five women, at which he said he had made as much as
L20 some weeks. Owing, however, to his lack of education, the poor
fellow was continually robbed, and eventually got into trouble through
debt, and was worried with summonses; hence his failure as a cockle and
oyster merchant. He then took a stall, and afterwards a shop for the
sale of gingerbread, &c.; this was also doomed to failure. He then tried
street-hawking with a barrow, to keep himself from the workhouse; but
this also failed, and his barrow was seized for debt.
Poor Sam was again penniless, friendless, and homeless, which compelled
him once more to seek refuge in the Union, where he afterwards died
after great suffering, at the age of 60 years. His remains were followed
to the grave by a few deaf and dumb friends. Poor Sam might have said
with David "Whilst I would do good evil is present with me."
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