By Mary Barrett----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New York School For Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb New York School For Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb New York School For Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb
|New York School For Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb|
On the eastern bank of the Hudson, in that part of Manhattan Island known as Washington Heights, stands the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. This school, now in its fifty-fourth year, has grown to be the largest and probably the most complete establishment of its kind in the world.
Leaving the city by way train on the Hudson River Railroad from Thirtieth Street, we stop at the station in One Hundred and Fifty-Second Street, which is also called Carmansville. A pleasant drive of half a mile brings us to the eastern entrance of the grounds. It is now some nineteen years since the school was removed from its former location in Fiftieth Street to this spot. With prudent forethought, ample grounds were then secured at a comparatively small expense, thirty-seven and a half acres having been purchased for not much over one hundred thousand dollars. Since that time the value of real estate in the upper part of the island has advanced so much that nine and a half acres of this land were sold in May, 1870, for two hundred and sixty-three thousand dollars. The sum thus realized frees the institution from debt, and enables it to make certain long-desired improvements.
As we drive along the pleasant winding avenue after entering the grounds, we soon discover through the trees some of the buildings of the establishment. Passing the mansion of Dr. Harvey L. Peet, the late venerated principal emeritus - the home also of his son, the present principal - we come in sight of the workshops, standing apart in the rear of the main building, and also of the school-house, which is joined to it by covered corridors. Here we observe groups of the children playing merrily about the doors, some jumping rope, and some busy with various other sports. And now, having passed the south wing and turned northward, we pause in front of the main edifice.
|Dr. Harvey L. Peet|
We must delay a moment before entering to notice the magnificent view. The beautiful Hudson, here a mile and a half wide, is, of course, the first and the finest thing we see. We are just opposite the southern extremity of the Palisades, whose rugged outlines and wood-crowned summit are perfectly reflected in the still blue water below. White sails dot the surface of the broad tranquil river, while here and there the trailing smoke and the shining wake of some steamer catch the eye. Yet the river lies far below us; it is not less than one hundred and twenty feet perpendicularly from the spot where we stand to the water's edge. Even the track of the railway, which runs along a terrace of the precipitous bank, is away down out of sight. And now, turning away from the broad sunny lawn that stretches before the building and the groups of noble forest trees that surround it, let us go in.
The general appearance of the edifice is stately and imposing. The main building fronts west; it is about one hundred and fifty feet in length, and fifty or more in width. The two principal wings stand at right angles with it at the north and south ends .respectively, and are joined to the central edifice by towers at the corners. There are three stories above the basement. The material is chiefly brick, with granite finishings.
We enter a fine lofty hall, some twenty feet by thirty-five, which intersects a corridor running length wise of the building. Just beyond the intersection, in an octagonal space which, like the hall itself, is lined with glass cases containing a fine cabinet, rises the central staircase. The reception-room, which is also the library, is at the left hand of the entrance; the parlor is upon the right. The private apartments of the superintendent and some other officers occupy the southern portion of this floor, while the northern is devoted to offices. Upon the second floor are the teachers' apartments and the guest-chambers; the third floor is used for an infirmary.
The south wing is occupied by the girls, the north by the boys. On the first floor of each there is an immense room more than a hundred feet long and forty-five feet wide, where the pupils study or play in the evenings, or whenever they are not occupied elsewhere. In the girls' room there are sewing-machines; and as the girls are there taught at certain times to do their mending, the apartment is often called the sewing-room. At the east end of these apartments are passages leading to the school-rooms, and also communicating with the dining-room, as well as stairs leading to the dormitories above.
Besides the two wings already described, there is a third, extending into the court from the center of the main building, to which it is joined by a sort of isthmus. In the first story of this central wing, and directly above the kitchen, is the pupils' dining-room, which is about seventy feet in length by sixty in breadth. On the floor above is the chapel. Having thus glanced at the general plan of the establishment, and finding ourselves attracted to further investigations by the universal air of neatness and good taste, let us set about learning precisely what the State of New York does to educate her deaf-mutes.
|Alphabet of the Deaf & Dumb|
There are generally about five hundred and fifty pupils here, and thirty teachers. Of the latter, some twelve or fifteen are themselves deaf-mutes, educated here, and possessing, of course, certain special qualifications for their work. Most of those who instruct the advance classes are hearing persons, and several are gentlemen of liberal education, who are called professors. The head of the educational department, Professor Isaac Lewis Peet, is a gentleman of fine culture and eminent skill in the difficult work to which he has devoted his life. He is said to be the most accomplished master of sign language in the world. His honored father, the late Dr. Harvey L. Peet, was one of the pioneers in deaf-mute instruction in the United States, having been appointed principal of this school as early as 1831. His earnest appeals to the Legislature in behalf of indigent mutes secured the liberal appropriations now bestowed upon this unfortunate class. The text-books used in their instruction almost everywhere in this country were prepared by him. He died last New-Year's Day, and his funeral services were held in the chapel of the institution.
The superintendent, who has the oversight of all business affairs, family arrangements, and sanitary matters, is Dr. Samuel D. Brooks, a gentleman of eminent ability and long experience in the management of large institutions. Previous to his acceptance of this position, in April, 1871, he had been for twelve years the superintendent of the New York Juvenile Asylum; and, still earlier, was for five years at the head of the State Almshouse at Monson, Massachusetts. Under his skillful supervision important improvements in the beating, ventilation, and sewerage of the establishment have been made; and the most careful attention is bestowed upon everything relating to the health and comfort of the household.
The ordinary course of instruction occupies five years, during which the pupil gains enough knowledge of language to express himself intelligibly in writing, acquires something of arithmetic and geography, and is taught the great truths of religion in which all Christians agree, together with an outline of Scripture history. At the close of this period as many as two-thirds of the pupils enter upon a further course of three years, during which special attention is paid to the more difficult forms of the English language, to history, higher geography, higher arithmetic, and select portions of the Bible. Still further opportunities are afforded in what is called the high class for pupils who are unusually bright and industrious. Its course occupies three years more; and pupils who complete it, in addition to a more extended acquaintance with studies previously commenced, obtain some knowledge of algebra, physiology, chemistry, natural philosophy, logic, rhetoric, and moral science.
A very large majority of the pupils are beneficiaries of the State, which provides for the education of all her deaf-mutes between the ages of twelve and twenty-five, if they need her aid. Deaf-mute children between the ages of six and twelve, also, if already a charge for maintenance upon any county or town, may be sent to the institution at the expense of such county or town. The fifty-third annual report shows that of the five hundred and thirty-four pupils in school September 30, 1871, three hundred and forty-seven were supported by the State of New York, one hundred and thirty-eight by the counties to which they belonged, thirty-two by the State of New Jersey, and less than twenty by their friends.
|First step in teaching the deaf & dumb|
We must not infer, however, that almost all of these pupils come from homes of poverty. Many of them belong to respectable families who could provide comfortably for the needs of ordinary children at home, though they are not able to pay out the sums required to keep them at school for a long course of years. It costs here about three hundred dollars a year for each pupil, besides clothing and traveling expenses. This, however, includes medical attendance, medicine, and nursing in sickness, as well as books and stationery. If desired, clothing is also furnished, at an additional charge of fifty dollars a year.
The school-house is of the same dimensions as the central edifice, and stands directly in the rear of it, at the distance of nine or ten rods. In approaching it we pass through the corridors forming a communication between the eastern extremities of the three wings into similar corridors running at right angles with these, which lead to the school - rooms. The three floors all have the same plan, a hall running lengthwise through the center, with five classrooms on each side. The French-roof, which, like the third story, has been recently added, affords an additional dormitory, accommodating one hundred and fifty boys. And, by-the-way, it appears that the boys here commonly outnumber the girls in the proportion of three to two. This disparity is not found among congenital mutes, about as many girls as boys being born deaf. The predominance of boys among those made deaf by sickness or accident, who compose nearly half the entire number, is supposed to be due to their greater exposure, and perhaps to a greater liability in infancy to certain forms of disease.
So much individual instruction is needed by deaf-mute pupils that it is not expedient to have a large number in one class. We shall seldom find more than twenty in a room; and if we watch the process of instructing them, we shall be satisfied that twenty such pupils are quite enough.
In describing how they are taught, perhaps I cannot do better than simply to relate what I observed in some of my own visits to various classes while spending a week or two in the institution. If I had thought of it beforehand, I might have attempted a systematic visitation, beginning where the newcomers begin. But as it happened, no program was marked out for me; and so, without much idea of what I was about to see, I found myself one bright morning in the class-room of Miss ____, a deaf-mute teacher. On being presented to her by my friend, Mrs. Brooks, I was received with great cordiality, and a very kind greeting was written upon the pocket-slate which educated mutes usually keep at hand.
A curious sense of personal imbecility comes over one who knows nothing of the sign language, nor even of the manual alphabet, in witnessing the animated conversations that are so mysteriously carried on by these accomplished fingers. One's hands fairly blush at their own incompetency, and are fain to hide out of sight.
While the teacher proceeded to introduce me to her young pupils, probably spelling my name, and adding whatever else she thought proper, I had plenty of time to survey them in my turn. This is a slight consolation to benighted visitors who do not know the manual A, B, C. While they are supposed to be announcing your name and residence, according to the customary formula, you may cogitate at your leisure; and while they are spelling out a sentence or two about you, you can think a page about them, if you like.
I found this school-room much like other well-appointed schoolrooms, neatly furnished, light, and airy. It had its rows of little desks and chairs, occupied by boys and girls perhaps twelve or thirteen years old, who looked much like other children. But there is one peculiar feature about all these schoolrooms which I must not fail to name. Three sides of the apartment are invariably furnished with immense slates, serving the purpose of blackboards, but far better and more durable. In size they are, perhaps, four feet by three, and they are firmly mounted in a substantial frame-work which supports them at a slight angle with the wall, and at a convenient height from the floor. Every scholar has his wall-slate; for whatever he learns, whether by signs or by finger-spelling, must be put in writing as well. A double slate for the teacher's use stands upon the remaining side of the room.
By this time our little friends were ready to say something to their visitors. A dozen or fifteen crayons were set in motion, and as many mammoth slates quickly displayed the words, "We are happy to see Mrs. Brooks and her friend." Afterward they wrote their own names and ages, the day of the week, the day of the month and year, and other items which I do not recall.
The text-book used during the first half dozen years of their education is Dr. Peet's Course of Instruction for the Deaf and Dumb. This manual embodies the results of a very extensive and successful experience in teaching language to deaf-mutes, and is the textbook of most similar schools. Anybody who has a propensity for digging after the roots of things in general will find it a real curiosity in the philological line, possibly in the psychological line too. Philosophers have debated a good deal whether primeval man developed his nouns first or his interjections, but unluckily none of them were there to see, and so nobody can say whether the "Bow-wow theory" or the "Pooh-pooh theory" is right. But in educating these thousands of human beings, to whom there is no vernacular among all the languages under the sun, it would seem that some little light must have been thrown upon the subject - enough to suggest fresh speculations, if nothing more.
The next day it happened that there was an examination of several primary classes in the chapel. It was not a public occasion, but merely an exercise designed to test the progress made, and to accustom the young pupils to be questioned in presence of the whole school. Several of the classes least advanced had been thus examined the preceding week, and these came next in order.
At eleven o'clock we seated ourselves in front of the platform which occupies the east end of the spacious chapel. The seats rise one above another from the front to the rear, being constructed with special care to secure for each of the spectators - we cannot say audience - an unobstructed view of the platform and the array of wall-slates behind it. The principal was present to conduct the examination, and also the various professors and teachers.
The primary department embraces pupils who are in Part First of the Course of Instruction. This portion of the .course requires from two to three years. The ages of the pupils examined ranged from nine or ten years up to fourteen. Each instructor furnished a brief report of the ground that had been gone over by his class.
In order to give some idea of their advancement, I quote one or two statements of a similar nature from the annual report for 1870. They refer to classes of about the same standing with these. Here is an outline of the attainments of a class two years in school: "They have learned between three and four hundred words, embracing names of familiar objects, qualities, and actions, and can use them in many simple sentences; have been taught the singular and plural of nouns, the actual and habitual present tenses of the verb, a few adverbs, and the conjunction and; can count and write numbers to 100; have committed to memory the first section of Scripture Lessons [on the attributes of God], and the Lord's Prayer."
Another, further advanced, had studied "Elementary Lessons from 139th to 213th, embracing the definite article; the tenses of the substantive verb, is, has been, will be, etc.; classification of names according to sex; pronouns, with their cases and numbers; the preposition of, denoting property, parts of a whole, etc.; the verb to have, in the two senses of property and possession ; impersonal verbs; auxiliaries can, may, must; the infinitive mood, and the conjunction that … Elementary geography from a map, without textbook, and elementary arithmetic. They write letters to their friends about once a month, besides writing little narratives, etc. Scripture Lessons, sections 5th to 7th."
Various interesting exercises were written upon the wall-slates by successive classes, only one of which I will detail as a specimen. It was a lesson on certain forms of verbs. The teacher, a deaf-mute gentleman, wrote upon a wall-slate, in a fine, bold hand, the rather startling direction, "Go and ask Mr. Cooke if he likes apple-pie." Possibly the little folks standing upon the platform, beneath the gaze of five hundred pairs of eyes, were somewhat embarrassed by this unexpected command; and a little girl who was dispatched to put the question to the professor, made a mistake in changing its form from indirect to direct. Upon this, a bright boy named Eckhard, leaving the platform, approached Professor Cooke, and spelled with his fingers, "Do you like apple pie?"
The professor having responded by certain lively gesticulations which appeared to convey a decided negative, the teacher wrote upon the slate," What did Eckhard do?" The answer, it will be observed, involves a good deal in the grammatical line; but most of the class were equal to it, and presently replied in writing, "He went and asked Mr. Cooke if he liked apple pie." One little girl who had been corrected for leaving some of her verbs in the present, now put it," He went and asked Mr. Cooked," etc., upon which that gentleman protested that he had never been in the past tense before. One more process finished the apple pie affair. "What did Mr. Cooke say?" wrote the teacher. "He said he did not like apple pie," replied most of the pupils; but one, with nice discrimination, observed," He said he hated apple pie."
Remarking the almost invariably correct orthography of these pupils, I was told that when deaf-mutes do misspell, it is in a fashion of their own. Children who hear, if they misspell, are wont to substitute something that sounds right, while deaf-mutes always choose something that looks right, writing l for b, perhaps, or q for g. This remarkable correctness in spelling, like everything else the pupils acquire, costs the teacher infinite painstaking. The more I saw of the schools, the more I admired the patience, the ingenuity, the enthusiasm, manifested by those who instruct. Why not attach a deaf-mute department to our normal schools, on purpose to give our future teachers a "special course" in these "higher branches" of the profession?
There are about fifty pupils whose education is carried on according to the articulative method. Many of these are "semi-mutes." This term is applied to individuals who were not born deaf, and had learned to talk, possibly also to read, before the loss of hearing. Such, of course, have an immense advantage over the deaf-born in respect to mental development. Though the power of speech is very apt to be subsequently lost through disuse, proper exertions on the part of friends will generally secure its preservation; and the ability to understand others by watching their lips can be acquired so as to make oral conversation practicable. The articulative department includes also some pupils who are not totally deaf; as well as a few congenital mutes of uncommonly bright intellect.
The position of the New York institution in regard to the articulative method is clearly defined in its annual reports. While it gives to all the opportunity to learn articulation and lip-reading as useful auxiliaries to their intercourse with society, it does not make this mode of communication the basis of instruction, except in cases such as those already described. This plan, now known as the combined method, has been extensively adopted in Europe, and the hitherto conflicting systems have thus been harmonized.
The articulative department is in the charge of Professor Bernhard Engelsmann, a superior teacher, who was educated for his difficult work in the institution at Vienna. While in his class-room I was interested in the recitations of several boys, one of whom was a congenital mute. They were orally questioned in geography and arithmetic, and readily replied, speaking quite intelligibly. "Do you understand what I say?" I inquired, taking care to speak slowly and distinctly. "Yes, I do," responded one of the boys, with evident satisfaction. I then asked, "Is it difficult to read the lips?" to which they replied, "It is very difficult." Indeed, if the speaker enunciates carelessly or too rapidly, it is impossible. On the other hand, it requires close attention to comprehend some of the utterances of the deaf. Their voices are somewhat unnatural, and their pronunciation is often imperfect. A total loss of hearing, even at the age of six or eight, produces a decided indisposition to use the vocal organs, which the ear can no longer guide. There was present a boy in his fourteenth year, who did not become deaf until three years before ; but his voice and enunciation had already been greatly impaired, and but for careful training would doubtless have been altogether lost. The articulative department would be worthwhile, were it only for cases like this.
One of the accomplished lady teachers told me something of their methods in teaching congenital mutes to speak. At first their efforts to use the vocal organs are very laborious, if not absolutely painful. How can they judge what kind of sounds they are making, or even comprehend what they ought to make? Accordingly various expedients are employed to convey some idea of the respective powers of the letters. For example, after they have been shown how to put the lips in position to utter f or v, it must be explained that the former is a mere breathing, while the latter is a sound. So the teacher holds a shred of cotton or paper close to her own lips, and lets them see it blown from her fingers as she enunciates f, while in uttering the sound of v a vibration is produced which the mute readily perceives by placing his hand upon the speaker's bead.
Deaf-mutes are very sensitive to all vibrations that are perceptible to the touch. Sometimes they appear to enjoy a sensation of this kind, as if it conveyed some faint idea of what it would be to hear. I was amused at noticing that one of the advanced pupils had recorded in the daily journal which he kept as an exercise in composition, "Last night the boys in our dormitory made an awful noise." The professor explained this as meaning that the writer felt the jarring of the floor and furniture, and was annoyed by it. It is said that in the performance of ordinary acts the deaf usually make more noise than people who hear. Of course it could hardly be otherwise. How could one walk softly, knock gently, or shut doors noiselessly without that sense by which, consciously or unconsciously, we regulate all our movements?
There is a division known as the supplemental class, in which I became greatly interested. It embraces those members of the "high class" who have made such attainments as to warrant their attempting some branches of a collegiate course, and also includes some of the deaf-mute teachers who wish to prosecute their studies still farther. The professors give instruction in Latin, Greek, and several modern languages, as well as in the natural sciences, higher mathematics, and mental and moral philosophy. While the regular school-hours close at 1P.M., the supplemental class and its teachers voluntarily devote to these studies additional hours of the afternoon.
At my first visit, after the professor had given the customary introduction, the young ladies and gentlemen turned to their wall-slates, and with great readiness wrote each a polite and appropriate welcome. Unfortunately their neat and graceful paragraphs were almost immediately erased to make room for succeeding exercises, so that I am unable to quote a specimen. I might have imagined that, being often called upon to address visitors, they kept a supply of well-turned salutatories constantly on hand, had not these contained so many allusions to individual circumstances - for example, the region from which I had come, or the school with which I was connected. The excellence of their handwriting, as well as the correctness and good taste of their expressions, would have done credit to pupils anywhere.
Let me here remark that while grammar as an art is constantly pursued from the beginning to the end of the course, it is not studied as a science until the pupils are fax advanced. When taken abstractly, it is one of the most difficult studies for them to comprehend. Yet by dint of endless painstaking they often acquire a degree of skill in the use of language which is surprising.
One of the exercises in the supplemental class that day was a recitation in Caesar. The teacher - Professor Jenkins - assigned a portion of the text to each pupil, and correct translations were promptly written. Afterward a few English sentences were given them, which they rendered into Latin. Having once learned English, it is said that deaf-mutes find no especial difficulty in other languages. Indeed, one would fancy that French or Latin might be easier for them than English, since the arrangement of words in the former corresponds better to the order followed in the sign language.
At another time I was present when Professor Cooke gave the supplemental class an unexpected examination in the elements of moral science, which they had pursued several months before. Definitions of law, moral law, conscience, and the like, were promptly given, and practical questions answered by the dams, in a manner that showed a good understanding of the subject. In the high class proper I also witnessed commendable recitations in algebra and various other studies.
By this time, having seen so much achieved in the education of the deaf and dumb, I was full of curiosity to know how they begin it. Accordingly, my friend took me to a school-room where were the youngest and most backward of all. My wish having been mentioned, the gentlemanly teacher - himself a mute - beckoned to his side a little dumb child, who had but just entered school. Very kindly and patiently he taught her a single word—to her the beginning of all that language has to reveal. I gazed with a feeling akin to awe. It is but a slender thread that he has thrown across the dark gulf beyond which, helpless and alone, lies the imprisoned soul. But, little by little, he will bridge the chasm, and blessings will go and come for evermore.
It seems a trifle to learn one word, but it involves a good deal. There are three steps in the process. The word being, for example, "pen," a picture of the object, or the pen itself, is exhibited, and the sign or it is made, which consists in moving the fingers of the right hand over the palm of the left, as if writing. Next, the word "pen" is spelled by the fingers, and the little pupil learns to do the same. Finally, the teacher, taking a crayon, writes the word upon the wall-slate, and shows the child how to copy that also. Great care is constantly taken to associate the object with its sign or name, and many repetitions are needful in order to fix the lesson in the undisciplined memory. Not until the child can make the sign at sight of the object or its picture, can spell its name with the fingers, and write it upon the slate, is the word considered to have been learned.
I had not spent many days in the institution before I awoke to the fact that the sign language is an exceedingly curious and attractive matter to study. Though I had elsewhere witnessed some slight exhibitions of its pantomimic story-telling, and had even been taught a few of its terms - if I may call them so - it was rather startling to discover here a complete language, adequate to all sorts of ideas, with which words have nothing to do. It is no more English than it is Chinese. Its signs represent objects, actions, qualities, and whatever else words express; but they do not represent words. Many people fancy it to be merely a shorthand way of talking, signs being interspersed here and there just to save the trouble of spelling out all the words. Doubtless it does save trouble; but that is not the main thing. Signs can make their way where words cannot. They go before words; they prepare the way for them; they rouse the unconscious soul; they bring candles into its dungeon; it bestirs itself at last, and cries for the light of day. When words begin to be admitted, signs introduce them; and not until the expanding intellect has grown beyond its childhood does the sign language at length withdraw from the scene, and give place to the language of words.
At table I used to notice the lively conversations carried on by the mute teachers between themselves. Some of them scarcely needed interpreting, since the expression of the face supplied a key. The grand principle of signs being resemblance, they are not very difficult to comprehend when they refer to visible objects and acts, or to simple emotions. Beyond this the uninitiated are apt to find themselves in the dark, unless there is somebody to interpret. For example, the sign for "Quaker" is made by twirling the thumbs about each other, the fingers being loosely interlaced. "Humbug" is intimated by extending the right hand upon the back and extended fingers of the left, while the thumbs are wagged - sarcastically, no doubt - upon either side. If you wish to allude to what is called "courting," you interlace the fingers so that their tips are toward you, and the tips of your bent thumbs about an inch apart; then wag the thumbs slightly, as if the happy pair were nodding and chattering in a cozy tete-a-tete, and you will be struck with the aptness of the representation.
One day, happening to inquire whether it were possible to express in sign language the grammatical modifications of mode, tense, etc., Professor Cooke did me the favor to summon a very intelligent pupil in the collegiate department, named Jones, to give illustrations. He immediately represented various forms of a given verb, in each instance naming the mode, tense, person, and number with great precision. I am sorry that I cannot recollect bow to make, for instance, the third person singular, pluperfect subjunctive, of the verb to write in sign language; but I was glad to learn that upon a pinch the thing can be done. In point of fact, however, I presume it is not always done. Some of these grammatical accidents may very well be left for the imagination to supply.
After having exhibited the signs representing various animals and other objects, the young man gave us some specimens of pantomime, in which he excels. To see how he would succeed with something entirely new, the teacher related to the class the well-known anecdote of Henry Clay's adventure with the goat. All eyes were intently fixed upon the rapidly moving fingers as they spelled word after word; and no sooner was the story finished than Jones proceeded to dramatize it in the most amusing fashion that can be imagined. We saw the great Senator taking his dignified "constitutional" in the streets of Washington, the little ragamuffins maliciously teasing the long- bearded goat, the benevolent interference of Mr. Clay in behalf of the unhappy animal, the ungrateful attack of the goat upon his deliverer, the glee of the rascally little spectators, and finally the ignominious retreat of the great statesman when he was forced to "let go and run like blazes." Of course it was ten times funnier in pantomime than in words.
Another member of the high class has shown a decided taste for chemistry in some of its practical applications. The annual report for 1871 says of him: "He is already a good photographer, and can operate the magnetic telegraph with considerable skill. This young man became deaf at the age of two years, and when he entered the institution did not know a word of any language. He has been under instruction nine years."
As school-hours end at dinner, other employments are provided for the afternoon. The boys are taught cabinet-making, shoemaking, or tailoring in the shops belonging to the institution, where they work three hours a day under skillful superintendence. Other branches of industry are to be introduced, especially printing and the arts of design. The girls learn sewing and mending, and some of them work iu the tailors' shop. Before school in the morning the larger girls also do sweeping and dusting. The training received in these various employments is, of course, of great value in enabling the pupils to gain their livelihood after leaving school.
The religious exercises of the institution form an important part of its system of education, although everything sectarian is carefully avoided. The course of "Scripture Lessons" has already been mentioned. There are regular Sabbath services in the chapel, and also a daily devotional exercise at eight o'clock in the morning, at both of which Professor Peet officiates. There is also a Sabbath-school, in which the various professors and teachers assist. I attended prayers in the chapel one morning, the teacher at my side interpreting, so that I might be able to follow the course of the exercises. The Scripture portion was the story of Jesus healing the man with the withered hand, which was related and commented upon by Professor Peet. He used the sign language chiefly, as the younger pupils could not otherwise have understood him. At the close of the service all stood up and repeated together in signs the sacred petitions of the Lord's Prayer. It was touching to witness the dumb pleading of those hands silently uplifted to "Our Father."
Many other matters which interested me must be omitted in this brief sketch. In closing I will only add that if anybody has the least doubt that the institution is doing a great work, and doing it well, he ought to go there and see.
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. September 1873.