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Extra resources for A Mighty Change: An Anthology of Deaf American Writing, 1816-1864 (Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies Series, Vol. 2)
Q: Does your habit of thought accommodate itself to the circumstances in which you imagine yourself placed, & the individual with whom you think of conversing; that is: Do you think in signs when you imagine yourself before your deaf, & in words when you seem to be holding conversation with some servant? A: Generally my habit of thought does accommodate itself very readily, for when before my class, this idea which I have that they are deaf & dumb like myself, immediately leads me to think in signs if I have any thing to tell them in this way, & in words if it be my wish to have them put it in written language; and when before some servant with whom I am going to hold conversation, I usually think in words.
17. F. A. P. Barnard, Observations on the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (Boston: J. H. Low, 1834), 19. 18. , The Deaf and Dumb (Boston: D. K. Hitchcock, 1836), 2. 19. Laurent Clerc Papers no. 69, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. 20. John R. Burnet, ‘‘Annual Examination at the New York Institution,’’ The Deaf-Mutes’ Friend 1 (Aug. 1869): 233. 21. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (Chicago: McClurg, 1903), 3. 22. Collins Stone, On the Difficulties Encountered by the Deaf and Dumb in Learning Language (Columbus: Statesman Steam Book and Job Press, 1854), 4.
He came from a genteel family; his father was a notary public and the village mayor. As Clerc explains in his autobiographical sketch, when he was one year old, he fell into a fireplace and burned his right cheek, leaving a permanent scar. His parents attributed his deafness and loss of smell to the accident. 1 2 LAURENT CLERC Clerc had no formal education until he was twelve, when he entered the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris. His first teacher was Jean Massieu, an accomplished deaf man who became his close friend.