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Pages from the Past To the Board of Directors of the American Asylum, 1847 To the President and Directors of the American Asylum Gentlemen: The Faculty of the American Asylum, having had their attention called by the Principal, to the expediency of commencing a periodical to be devoted to questions connected with the general subject of Deaf and Dumb instruction; and having considered the proposition as fully as they are able; beg leave to submit their views in regard to it to the Board of Directors. With the approbation of the Board, (without which, of course, we should not think of engaging in any enterprise of this nature), we propose to issue a periodical, which shall be mainly devoted to the discussion of topics relating to the Deaf and Dumb; the numbers to appear in pamphlet form once in three months, and each number to consist of seventy or eighty pages; so that the four numbers of the year, if bound together, would make a volume of about three hundred pages. Whether we shall wish to carry the work beyond a single volume, will depend on the degree of public favor with which our enterprise is regarded , and the amount of appropriate materials which shall remain unemployed when the first volume is completed . At first thought, some might imagine that we should find it difficult to furnish matter proper for such a periodical , even to sustain it for a single year; but with us, there is no apprehension of any difficulty from the poverty of our subject. The field is by no means a narrow one, as will appear from a hasty glance at some of its subdivisions. We have before us the whole department of statistics relating to the Deaf and Dumb—the social and civil condition of this class of persons in ancient times—the history of the first attempts made to instruct them, and the progress of the art down to the present day—a particular historical sketch of each of the Institutions for the Deaf and Dumb in this country; with more brief and general notices of those in foreign lands—notice of books relating to Deaf and Dumb instruction especially in the French and German languages, with particular reference to their comparative merit, biographical sketches of Deaf-Mutes who have in any manner distinguished themselves—a careful exposition of the true philosophy of the language of signs, showing that it is in fact the basis of all other languages— the state of the Deaf and Dumb mind before instruction, illustrated occasionally by communications from the most intellectual and best educated of the Deaf and Dumb, themselves , some account of our methods of instruction, especially intended as a practical help to those who have Deaf and Dumb children—a history of attempts made to teach articulation, with the processes pursued and the results attained —diseases of the ear and efforts made by physicians for the cure of deafness—the relation which the instruction of Deaf-Mutes bears to that of hearing and speaking children , and the mutual aid to be derived from a comparison of the two methods. We might mention other subdivisions of the general subject, but these are sufficient to show that topics for discussion and exposition will not be wanting. In brief, we mean to make our contemplated periodical a complete thesaurus or treasury of all attainable truths, facts, principles and details which pertain to the Deaf and Dumb. And we shall study to make all that we may publish as attractive as possible to the general reader. Avoiding a dry and formal manner, we shall have as much regard to variety as the unity of our purpose will allow and shall employ all the graces of style that we can command with which to clothe the thoughts that we may have to offer. In this enterprise , we hope to secure the cooperation (to some extent at least) of other Institutions in this country, and also of individuals who have heretofore been connected with the education of the Deaf and Dumb. Having thus shown what kind of work we wish to produce , we will now present some of the reasons which have led...


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