James nails it when he talks about the sacrifices that Clerc made to immigrate to the United States. Who makes these kinds of decisions? I myself immigrated to Quebec over 20 years ago and it was hard. I was only 4 hours away from my former life and my family. It is hard to imagine leaving all that he had built in France, all that he knew. It would be so very cool to know more about this decision and eventually we may find it in his writings or I am sure someone has already compiled the reasons somewhere?
Or we can just refer to this very cool storyboard for our answer. -Laurent-
“It would appear at this distance of time to have been the most trying, as it was the most momentous, act of Mr. Clerc's life to decide to accompany Mr. Gallaudet to America. He must bid farewell to home, friends, and relations; to aged parents on the verge of the grave; he must leave forever the vine clad hills and lovely vales of France ; he must abandon Paris, with its palaces and gardens and fountains, its libraries and art-museums, its unrivaled resources for aesthetic and intellectual enjoyment, so dear to the heart of the true Frenchman; he must prepare to see buried beneath the dust of disuse and oblivion his precious French, his only written language, mastered with the heavy tax of time and effort laid upon the deaf-mute; he must tear himself from his beloved teacher and friend, Sicard, the tendrils of whose nature clung to the young protege and assistant, loth to let him go - even on a mission of beneficence to which he him- self had pointed the way by precept and by example”