Canon Farrar With The Deaf And Dumb





The Washington Post gives an account of Canon Farrar's visit to that

city. He was interviewed by one of their reporters as to what he thought

of the place, and he replied that he was greatly pleased, but what

interested him most was the Deaf Mute College. He was of opinion there

was nothing of its kind in the world. The Canon was conducted through

the College by Dr. Gallaudet, the president, who explained to him the

various arrangements, after which Mr. Olof Hanson, a Swede, who has

mastered English since the loss of his hearing, delivered orally the

following address:--Two and a half centuries ago the Pilgrim Fathers

laid the foundation of the nation. America may in a sense be called the

child of England--and a well-grown child, of which she need not be

ashamed. In visiting this country, therefore, you do not, we trust, feel

like a stranger, but, as it were, among relatives and friends.

Archdeacon Farrar is no stranger to us; his beautiful "Life of Christ"

is a well-known volume in many a public and private American library,

and there are few who have not read his noble eulogy on our departed

hero, General Grant. As a friend then, we bid him welcome. Permit me now

to say a few words about the instruction of the deaf in this country. In

1817 the first deaf mute school in America was founded at Hartford,

Connecticut; there are now upwards of sixty schools for the deaf and

dumb in the United States, and to day more than 7000 pupils receiving

instruction. The minds of the deaf are just like those of other people,

and only need to be developed. Although the avenue of the ear is

closed, through the other senses information is imparted, and sight,

being the most convenient, is chiefly made use of in instructing the

deaf; but to teach them persons of experience and intelligence are

required, and to obtain such teachers money is necessary. Our Government

has wisely recognised this, and it accordingly makes liberal provision

for educating the deaf, as well as the hearing, all our institutions

being supported mainly by the Government. It was long doubted that the

deaf could master the higher branches of study, and it has been reserved

for this college to see if they can. In this country we have the deaf as

teachers, lawyers, chemists, artists, clergymen, editors, &c. Many take

a most creditable rank among the hearing persons in their professions.

Among the graduates of this college will be found some of the most

intelligent and best educated deaf mutes in the world. The college is

the only one of its kind in existence. Two young men from the old world

have come all the way here to obtain an education which they could not

get at home. They are cordially welcomed, and we hope many more will

come until the time arrives when they have a college of their own, where

they may acquire the advantages of a high and liberal education. Mr.

Francis Maginn, son of the Rev. C. A. Maginn, county Cork, was then

introduced to Canon Farrar, and his address read by Dr. Gallaudet. "As

one of the two students from Europe just alluded to by my friend, I have

the pleasure of welcoming my distinguished countryman, Archdeacon

Farrar, to Washington. Having acquired the rudiments of my education in

the metropolis of Great Britain, where you from Sunday to Sunday expound

the unsearchable riches of Christ, and being a native of Ireland, where

my father ministers in the Church of Ireland, it is but natural I should

express my deep gratification that you should have come amongst my

American brethren in affliction. I am sure, sir, that you have felt as I

have done when coming to the great and prosperous United States, that

the American people is one of which we may well be proud--a great and

highly civilised people, with whom we are connected by every tie of

blood, and every relation of business--they are a people who bear our

civilisation, in many things improved, our language, literature, laws,

and religion. In an educational point of view the nation is prominent,

and her silent children have the advantages of spacious institutions,

supported by her revenues. It is greatly to be regretted that our

brethren in Great Britain enjoy none of these elaborate advantages of

intellectual culture. Whilst Mr. Foster's Act benefits thousands, and

while $15,000,000 are annually voted for the masses, one third of the

mutes of right school age are being left uneducated. What that means,

the English have no conception, or they would not be apathetic or

unconcerned; no class when uneducated is more entirely cut off from all

human intercourse than the deaf and dumb." The Canon, in reply,

expressed his thanks for the cordial reception given him, and concluded

with a short prayer, which was interpreted by Dr. Gallaudet, President

of the Deaf and Dumb College.





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