A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


Laura D. Bridgeman

Laura Bridgeman was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on December 21, 1829. She was the first deaf, dumb and blind person ever educated. A highly intellectual child, Laura lost her eyesight and hearing about the end ofher second year when she was beginning to talk, and in consequence soon lost the power of speech when she suffered from a severe attack of scarlet fever.  She was left practically but one avenue of perception—the sense of touch.  

Although her mental faculties were unimpaired, t from the time when she recovered from this sickness until she was eight years of age, they were practically at perfect rest. Her mind had but one way of reaching out for a perception of the objects about her. It dwelt in darkness and stillness. Even the  memory of her lost senses was gone. She did not have, and unaided she could not have, any conception of beautiful sights, sweet sounds, or pleasant odors. But, she had so sensitive a touch, that she was able to select different colored worsted, and manufacture elegant patterns of crochet work with the accuracy and taste in combinations of color that belong to the work of those who can see.

She was taken to Boston when she was eight years old, and placed in the Parker Institute for the Blind. The late Samuel G. Howe, then superintendent of the school, took a great interest in the child, and undertook the difficult task of instructing her, which he accomplished. Under the guidance of Dr. S. G. Howe, of the Perkins School for the Blind, she learned to read and write and to sew, eventually becoming a sewing teacher at the school, where she remained until she died from heart problems. 

Bridgman was famous, her life and education described in newspapers and magazines worldwide. The education of Laura Bridgeman, a blind girl, by Dr. Samuel Howe, a Boston philanthropist, had prepared the way for the work done for Helen Keller. The facts of her life have been referred to by theologians, philosophers, and medical men all over the world, and her physical and mental condition aroused the greatest interest until the hour of her death.—Educational News.

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