Bridgman, Laura

Bridgman, Laura,

1829–89, the first blind and deaf person to be successfully educated, b. Hanover, N.H. Under the guidance of Dr. S. G. HoweHowe, Samuel Gridley,
1801–76, American reformer and philanthropist, b. Boston, Mass., grad. Brown, 1821, M.D. Harvard, 1824. He began his life-long service to others by going to Greece to aid in its war for independence and spent six years there.
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, of the Perkins School for the BlindPerkins School for the Blind,
at Watertown, Mass.; chartered 1829, opened 1832 in South Boston as the New England Asylum for the Blind, with Samuel G. Howe as its director; moved 1912. From 1877 to 1955 it was called the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind.
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, she learned to read and write and to sew, eventually becoming a sewing teacher at the school, where she remained until her death. As a girl and young woman, Bridgman was famous, her life and education described in newspapers and magazines worldwide. Her fame was later eclipsed by that of Helen KellerKeller, Helen Adams,
1880–1968, American author and lecturer, blind and deaf from an undiagnosed illness at the age of two, b. Tuscumbia, Ala. In 1887 she was put under the charge of Anne Sullivan (see Macy, Anne Sullivan), who was her teacher and companion until
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.

Bibliography

See biography by L. E. Richards (1928); E. Freeberg, The Education of Laura Bridgman (2001); E. Gitter, The Imprisoned Guest: Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman (2001).

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