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LAURENT CLERC GETS HIS DAY AND A MEMORIAL!

Note: The JSTOR articles linked below are accessible by a free membership!



I received a text from Brad, a curator at the Cogswell Heritage House, today. It was from a 1931 New Era (publication of the ASD) In it was an article on the process of securing Laurent his memorial which still stands on the grounds of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, CT.



It told me things that I did not know from my earlier research. Sit back and see this story unfold.


In 1854, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet got his memorial on the grounds of the then named, American Asylum. Laurent Clerc was the President of the Gallaudet Monument committee, tasked with creating this memorial to his friend. About the same time, people started to think about Laurent and his need for similar recognition.


In September 1871, two years after the passing of Laurent a meeting was held of delegates, from nearly all the deaf associations, in Albany, New York. Here a committee, to be called the Clerc Memorial Union was created to collect funds for a Clerc Monument. The President, Mr. John Carlin, of New York, had resigned and was "debarred" from taking an active part. (I am sure that is an interesting story) Thomas Brown, of New Hampshire became president.



Initially the union considered raising funds in his name for a Home for Aged and Infirm deaf-mutes (Note: Thomas H. Gallaudet would eventually get one named after him).


In December 1873, a memorial bust was improved instead by the Clerc Memorial Union . Mr. H. A. Batterson, of Hartford was entrusted with the work. Mr. Charles Conrad molded the bust. The memorial was placed on the lope in front of the school and cost $2900.



On September 16, 1974, the memorial was dedicated in a simple ceremony. James Denison gave his address "THE MEMORY OF LAURENT CLERC". It was a Wednesday. Charlotte (Lottie) Beers,



grand daughter of Clerc was to unveil it in a simple ceremony. Then the attendees gathered at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, for a dedication service. Mr. Brown, of West Henniker N.H. and an early graduate of the Asylum presided. The Rev. W.W. Turner, former principal signed a prayer. Mr. Brown, being President of the Clerc Memorial Union gave the presentation address. Mr. Job Williams



read the address. Mr. Brown had Laurent Clerc's watch that was given to him by Mrs. Clerc. Here is a photo that is possibly from that day with Mrs. Clerc seated next to the memorial.



Calvin Day was President of the American Asylum at the time and accepted the Memorial on behalf of the Board of Directors.  Mr. John C. Bull translated Mr. Day's address. 


Got to love it. -Laurent-

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