View Our Catalog

Join Our E-Mail List

What's New

Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

Press Home

The History of Gallaudet University: 150 Years of a Deaf American Institution
Previous Page

Next Page



Edward Miner Gallaudet (EMG) was born February 5, 1837, in Hartford, Connecticut. After high school, he worked at a bank in Hartford, and a few years later, he enrolled in Trinity College. While still a student, he became a teacher at the American School. He was just twenty years old when Amos Kendall wrote to him about the Columbia Institution in Washington, DC. Photograph circa 1857.

▲ Amos Kendall (August, 16, 1789–November 12, 1869) was a wealthy businessman and philanthropist when he became the guardian of five deaf children in 1856. He used his political connections to convince Congress to pass legislation establishing the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind on his estate in northeast Washington in 1857. Photograph by Mathew Brady, circa 1860–1865; courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

◄ Sophia Fowler Gallaudet served as matron of the Columbia Institution for nine years (1857–1866). She died in May 1877 while visiting EMG and his family, and her loss was mourned by all at the college. She is buried in Hartford next to her husband. Photograph circa 1860s.

Previous Page

Next Page