Publisher Information: Boston: New England Publishing Co., 1878.
[Bridgman, Laura Dewey Lynn (1829-89).] Lamson, Mary Swift. Life and education of Laura Dewey Bridgman, the deaf, dumb and blind girl. xl, 373pp. Frontispiece portrait, plate, 3 folding facsimile leaves of Bridgman’s writing. Boston: New England Publishing Company, 1878. 192 x 122 mm. Original cloth stamped in gilt and black, light wear to extremities, front hinge barely cracked. Light toning but very good. Leaf with pencil signature “Laura D. Bridgman,” presumably in her hand, laid in. Presentation Copy, inscribed by Lamson on the flyleaf: “To my pastor, with grateful remembrances, M. S. Lamson.” Leaf with pencil signature “Laura D. Bridgman,” presumably in Bridgman’s hand, laid in.
First Edition. Laura Bridgman, left blind and deaf at the age of two after a bout of scarlet fever, was the first person with deafblindness to learn verbal language, fifty years before the more famous Helen Keller. At that time deafblind people like Bridgman were considered to be feeble-minded, but Samuel Howe, the director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, was convinced of Bridgman’s intelligence and persuaded her family to send her to his school. Shortly before her eighth birthday Bridgman was enrolled at the Perkins Institute, where Howe succeeded in teaching her how to communicate in English both by tactile sign language and by means of a writing board. During her adolescence Bridgman became famous, attracting the attention of celebrities such as Charles Dickens, who devoted nearly an entire chapter of his American Notes to the “sightless, earless, voiceless child” he had visited in 1842 during his first American tour (Dickens’ account later inspired Helen Keller’s mother to hire Perkins graduate Annie Sullivan to teach her own deafblind daughter). After reaching adulthood Bridgman fell back into obscurity, spending most of her life at the Perkins Institute where she died at the age of 59.
Mary Lamson, the author of this biography, was a teacher at the Perkins Institute who spent three years as Bridgman’s special instructor. We are offering an inscribed presentation copy of her work, with an example of Bridgman’s signature done with the aid of her writing board (presumably by Bridgman herself) laid in. Garrison-Morton.com 7745.Book Id: 44155