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An excerpt from a sermon delivered at the opening of The Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons.

Thomas H. Gallaudet delivered this sermon at the newly established Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons on April 20, 1817. Many people affiliated with the church, as well as some advocates for the education of deaf and dumb people, felt deafness prevented one’s closeness to divinity. Hence, instruction in manual language ultimately brought deaf people closer to the church and to holiness.