View Our Catalog

Join Our E-Mail List

What's New

Sign Language Studies

Press Home

A Mighty Change: Chapter Six

Previous Page

After publishing the material excerpted here, Jewel married and had three children: a deaf son and two hearing daughters. However, the marriage ended unhappily. We do not have any details. We do not even know if her husband was hearing or deaf. In the preface, the “friend” calls it only “an unfortunate marriage.” Jewel herself says “I have drank bitterly of the cup of sorrow, since my marriage; but I cannot here speak of the trials that have fallen my lot.” We can only speculate about the events that so distressed her. As a single mother, Jewel again relied on her pamphlet to raise funds to support her family. She earned enough money to send her deaf son to the Michigan school in Flint, which she had attended herself. Unfortunately, we have no record of what became of Jewel in her later years.

A Brief Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Adele M. Jewel

The history of my life is made up more of thought and feeling than of incidents and events. It is brief and simple, and yet may be interesting to those who are curious enough to know how the world and its experiences are regarded by one who can neither hear nor speak. . . . I was born deaf, on the 15th of November 1834, in the city of Cincinnati, though I do not remember much before our removal to Detroit, in the year 1838. Among my early acquaintances was a little girl nearly my own age, Charlotte Monroe. We became warm friends from the first, and were seldom separated from morning till night. Our plays, our toys, everything we had, was shared in common; and by the use of our own signs—a language taught by nature—we understood each other very well. They tell me that she ran in to her mother, saying, in a voice of gladness, “Ma, I can talk deaf and dumb as good as Dellie.”

My father had a tame black bear chained up in the yard. He was harmless, at least, we believed him so, and were not afraid to play near him, and even sometimes to pat him on the head—I and my little friend Lottie. But he soon taught us not to be quite so familiar. We used to feed him apples and cake, and were delighted when we could make him show his teeth, or climb the pole, or rear upon his hind legs. One day (I shall never forget that) I had a piece of cake in my hand, which I held temptingly before him, though I had no intention of dividing with him, and frequently disappointed him by drawing it back. He became enraged at last, and seizing me in his arms, he tore my clothes off in an instant, and would have killed me had not my shrieks brought me instant relief. My father dared not keep so dangerous a pet, and soon disposed of him. . . .


Next Page