MEMORIES OF LAURENT CLERC: JAMES DENISON
HOW IS THAT FOR FAST!
Dension continues with the recounting of the “Origin Story”, citing Laurent’s close relationship with the Asylum. Whilst it is true, he of course would not know or would not disclose if he did know, the struggles between Laurent and the Asylum for adequate compensation for his work and to secure his family in retirement. As a Laurent Clerc fanboy I like what Oscar Wilde told us, “to give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man (women) of parts and culture.”
“The record of Mr. Clerc's life from the date of his arrival in America until his death, fifty-three years afterwards, is a familiar one to every educated mute. With the exception of a few months at three different times spent in visiting his native country, forty-one of these years were passed in the faithful and successful performance of duty as an instructor in the American Asylum. In the annual reports of that institution, where Mr. Clerc's name from first to last heads the list of the corps of in-structors, repeated and honorable mention is made of his assistance in soliciting funds, of his valuable aid in training teachers for the Hartford, as well as other schools, of the high estimate in which his labors and counsels were held by the board of directors. The board at various times gave evidence of their sense of his important services by the bestowment of special favors and appropriations; and in 1858, when, in his 73th year, he closed his active connection with the asylum, he retired in the receipt of a pension for life from its funds.”
Someday soon we will have to explore Laurent’s experience with the Asylum, his struggles were are probably not unlike what many teachers are experiencing still today.