On the left second row: Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc on the ship.
Honor Thy Deaf History by Deaf Artist, Nancy Rourke
“Only recently regarded as an almost helpless and useless portion of our common humanity” General James Garfield before becoming President for United States of America having concerns for Deaf people. [Moods of Silence: Willard J. Madsen]
200 years ago today [August 9, 1816]: Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet arrived into the landfall of America making the greatest destiny for the Deaf community with the sun set under a clear horizon, the lives of Deaf person in America is about to be changed forever.
On their final voyage before landfall, in the dark of the moon, wee hours before daybreak on August 9th, the mother ship, Mary-Augusta carried their souls through the land breeze, afterwards with the wind West, turning the prow East and by North destined for New York. It proved to be the most important pursuit of happiness than the outward passage of discovery for Deaf Education.
For 52 days, they remained together through highly entertaining and significant are the traces of how American Sign Language (ASL)-written English spread, and what they worked together to make sure Deaf people cannot be forgotten. It has become a new world for Deaf community.
The Grand Fleet of Mary-Augusta, not just too many Marys, but the pivotal Mary with a quote for your eyes to remember: Surely the isles of the sea shall wait for me….to bring thy sons from far–Isaiah lx 9. The isles of the sea brought the greatest Deaf son of France to set a destiny today.
Without Clerc, what would it be like today? The catchword of Clerc is forever in the Deaf Studies lens. What campus would become the university that uses ASL for intellectual discourses? And what would the relationship of Clerc-Gallaudet be to the world? They brought the promise to the world and America. The change we demand has been declared in ASL.
The mother ship, Mary-Augusta was a clear step toward to provide the higher education we seek today. Thank you, Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet! They were certainly the Admirals of the North Atlantic Ocean!
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
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