This post was written by Julita Braxton, AHMC Cataloger.
Laura Dewey Bridgman was the first person with deafblindness to learn to read and write. Half a century before the more well-known Helen Keller, Bridgman communicated using a tactile sign language, read using a form of Braille, and wrote using the alphabet created by Samuel Gridley Howe.
Text of the first verse of the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Laura D Bridgman, Hanover, N.H.”
She lived much of her life at the Perkins School for the Blind in New Hampshire, where she was educated and went on to teach. Bridgman’s success is a milestone in American deaf education.
Cataloging of the American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC), a group of 12,000 small and unique manuscript collections, is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and the Pine Tree Foundation of New York.