Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  10 (1885), 715–34.

A Model State Capital

George Parsons Lathrop


Essay, Travelogue

Relevant illustrations:

eng. [5]


Disability, Education, Colleges, Mental Illness, Monographs, Libraries, Comparative Philology, Humanism, Manufactories, Military Technology, Invention

    In a tour of Hartford, state capital of Connecticut, points out the 'American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, a most praiseworthy establishment, the first of its kind in the United States. It was founded by a number of gentlemen in 1815, and under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Gallaudet it became the inspiration for and model of many similar institutions' (cf. HM1/8/2/2). Similarly, 'another famous establishment, the Hartford Retreat for the Insane [...] likewise antedates all of its class in this country, saving one or two that were publicly endowed'. Explains that 'How one charity may aid another I happened to see well exemplified in the case of an insane person who was also a deaf-mute, so that it was necessary for the Retreat to provide an attendant skilled in the manual and sign language—a need which could not easily have been met had it not been for the work of the American Asylum'. (716) While describing the Hartford house of Harriet E Stowe, observes that the large collection of 'the authoress's works, in several foreign languages' contained in the parlour 'has been duplicated in the British Museum, and is there used as the means of curious studies in comparative philology' (729). Reflects with pride on the 'number of things in which [Hartford] has shown excellence or commendable energy—on one side its humane establishments, including that where the deaf-mute children lead with so much good cheer their life of silent imagery, and on the other its hum of factories , producing all manner of things, from paper, pins, paper barrels, to machinery, revolvers, and Gatling guns (the invention of a Hartford citizen)' (734).

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