1870s Fine Laura D. Bridgman Autograph Signature Blind Deaf Mute New Hampshire
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1870s Fine Laura D. Bridgman Autograph Signature Blind Deaf Mute New Hampshire:
Fine 1870s signature of
the blind and deaf pioneer Original pencil signature, "Laura D. Bridgman," circa 1870s, on an off-white 3" x 4.75" album page with an notation by the original recipient at the bottom edge. In fine, clean condition.
An outstanding example in Bridgman's distinctive heavy-pressure penmanship. The ink notation below reads "The above was written by Miss Laura Bridgman who is Deaf, Dumb, & Blind."
Laura D. Bridgman (1829 - 1889), born in Hanover, New Hampshire, earned a place in history as the first American blind and deaf person to attain a full education, aided by the use of the manual alphabet and the tutelage of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, director of the Perkins Institution for the Blind at Boston. Such was Bridgman's success that Charles Dickens made enthusiastic mention of her in his memoirs of his 1842 visit to America, which helped bring Bridgman to worldwide fame. Howe later noted of his charge that "perhaps there are not three living women whose names are more widely known than [Laura Bridgman's]; and there is not one who has excited so much sympathy and interest." After leaving the Perkins Institution, Bridgman returned to her New Hampshire home, but, missing her life at the school, she eventually returned and spent the remainder of her life on its campus, sending letters to her family, reading in Braille, and making a modest living (subsidized by the school) by selling her needlework. In the early 1880s, Bridgman shared a cottage at Perkins with Anne Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller; in fact, Bridgman's case, as recounted by Charles Dickens, inspired Helen Keller's mother to contact Perkins for tutelage for her daughter, setting in motion the remarkable relationship that lasted until Sullivan's death. Bridgman died at the school at the age of 59 and was buried in her hometown of Hanover.
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