MEMORIES OF LAURENT CLERC: JAMES DENISON
John continues to preach the noble motives of the Origin Story that made Laurent leave France and all he knew to come to Hartford with Thomas H. Gallaudet. What he was to achieve was noble and we all are eternally grateful. I like Anne Picaud’s reasoning behind Laurent’s leaving Paris. He was probably not unlike many other immigrants who made these voyages into the unknown. The way Anne puts it makes me think that I would have done the same.
“A miserable salary, no social life, lodging in a small room under the roof, very frugal food (mostly vegetable soups from the garden) and above all no woman or young girl to date and no hope of one day founding a family (because of the miserable salary which did not allow one to pretend to marry). “ Anne Picaud INJS Historian
“Yet, from all we can learn, Mr. Clerc did not hesitate in making his decision. He won the reluctant consent of his parents ; he overcame the objections of Sicard one by one ; he took prompt leave of his friends and the scene of his labors and triumphs, and on the 18th of June he embarked for America with Mr. Gallaudet.
It was a great step to take ; one from which most men under similar circumstances would have shrunk. Allowing something to the persuasive pleading of Mr. Gallaudet, and to the contagion of his enthusiasm, and something also to the influence wrought upon Mr. Clerc's nature in breathing for so many years an atmosphere so pervaded with the fragrance of self-consecration and generous deeds, the fact remains that had not Laurent Clerc been a man of more than ordinary decision and benevolence of character, he would never have thus bidden farewell to France and come a voluntary exile to a foreign land. “ Denison