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No, this is not a blog post about a sitcom. And I never saw an episode anyhow. This post is of course about Laurent Clerc and Philadelphia.

Laurent has a relationship with Philadelphia that goes way back. I think the first recorded time was in December of 1816. In the Philadelphia Gazette and Daily Advertiser an article reports that Laurent

attended a public meeting at the Washington Hall on South 3rd St. on a Saturday, actually on December 7th. An "large and highly respectable assemblage of the Ladies and Gentlemen o the City and its vicinity convened at Washington Hall".

Introduced by the Honorable William Tilghman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania introduced Laurent to the assembled crowd.

Laurent presented a speech that day which related the story of the Abbe l'Epee and Abbe Sicard, their methods of teaching the Deaf and asking the attendees to consider shelling out some cash and become patrons of his new project of building the Hartford Asylum the following year.

Laurent's next connection with Philadelphia came in 1821 when Laurent was asked to go to the Pennsylvania school to sort out the curriculum. This opportunity made Laurent the first Deaf superintendent of a Deaf school. Later, Laurent's son, Francis Clerc would preach at the All Soul's Church, a Deaf congregation in Philadelphia.

But let us head to modern times. What pray tell could Laurent be doing in Philadelphia in 2024, he has been dead for over 154 years! Well, we can just go down to the Franklin Institute in town and you can catch Laurent there, in the form of an artistic piece by Kristy Whilden, Founder of Hands Up Silent Theatre. Kristy has created a Lego portrait of Laurent Clerc that is displayed in The Art of the Brick Exhibit.

Kristy's work is also a shout out to our Laurent Clerc Stamp Project!

We love the work that Kristy is doing. As the result of her art we have what is our first published link in a major newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer! A beautiful milestone. Thank you, Kristy.

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