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MEMORIES OF LAURENT CLERC: JAMES DENISON


I wish that James Denison would write me a memorial. I love how he lays it out there and how sweet Laurent’s life was in his last years of life in Hartford. It sure looks like the best way to spend those last days on earth. I have no doubt that Laurent was as he described. Most sources seem to paint the same picture of him as a person. We also know that he was also worrying about the state of education for the Deaf in the world with the encroachment of the oral method on ASL territory. He also was living through the Civil War and he is said to have been very saddened and anxious about the outcome of that conflict. I think many of us can relate to being elderly in uncertain times.


“From this time Mr. Clerc spent his days in peaceful enjoyment of the rest he had so well earned. " Happy in his domestic and social relations," writes Kev. Mr. Turner in the American Annals , " he might be seen in the streets, in the post office, and the reading-rooms of Hartford, almost every day, meeting his friends with a pleasant smile and graceful salutation, and expressing a deep interest in public events relating to the welfare of the country, and especially to the prosperity of the Asylum."

In June, 1864, Mr. Clerc, then in his 79th year, in spite of his many infirmities and the length and fatigue of a journey that would have deterred a younger man, traveled from his Hartford home to Washington, the capital of our country, in order to be present at the inauguration of the National Deaf- Mute College. He delivered a thoughtful and interesting address, closing with the earnest hope that " in his great work, his dear young friend, Edward M. Gallaudet, might be blessed and prospered, and receive for his efforts in behalf of the deaf and dumb such proofs of its benefits as would reward him for the glorious undertaking." Thus was Mr. Clerc permitted in his last days to behold the highest and grandest point reached in the cause of deaf-mute education - like Moses of old, after forty years of guidance and patient waiting, to look upon the promised land and give his dying blessing.”


And it was apparent that Laurent, ROCKED, his address at Gallaudet. Check out the full address at…

-Laurent-



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