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outside matters; consonant interruptions; vowels, hieroglyphics

      Always excepting moral training, the one thing on this earth most needed by the deaf-mute is the power to comprehend and use written language with facility. That this, as a rule, is the one thing he does not get is our fault — our most grevious fault. We waste useless hours puttering over consonant combinations and vowel sounds, although we know in our hearts that majority of our pupils (semi-mutes are not referred to) will never speak plainly enough to “be understanded of the people,” or we lean comfortably back in our chairs and tell long stories in signs regardless of the fact that the world out into which these children are going knows and cares nothing for signs.

ex Sarah H. Porter, “Language,” American Annals of the Deaf 37: 3 (June 1892): 219-227 (222) : link
University of Virginia copy, via hathitrust

more —

      ...They must learn to grasp the general meaning — to catch the drift of a sentence or a page without knowing the signification of every separate word. There are countless ways of working towards this end. Leave sentences about outside matters in which they are interested (ten to one your dullest boy reads and understands in the daily papers those base-ball reports which are to you as Chinese hieroglyphics on your your black-board for days at a time. Descend upon them with a slate full of neighborhood news. Make unexpected jokes; no matter if they are bad, your audience will not be critical. Break off short sometimes in the middle of a lesson to introduce some entirely foreign subject. Such an interruption may ruin that particular recitation, but it will make their minds more alert and receptive, will train them to more nimble mental action...
226 : link

Sarah Harvey Porter (1856-1922)

manualist teacher of the deaf, proponent of the “combined” or “eclectic” system
brief bio in finding aid, her papers at Gallaudet : link

also authored —

  1. “Society and the Orally Restored Deaf-Mute” American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb 28:3 (July 1883): 186-192 link (hathitrust)
  2. “The Supression of Signs by Force,” American Annals of the Deaf 39:3 (June 1894): 169-178 : link (hathitrust
    link (google books)
  3. “The Education of the Will,” American Annals of the Deaf 42:1 (January 1897) : 16-28 : link (hathitrust)
  4. “The Life and Times of Ann Royall, 1796-1854,” in Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., vol 10 (1907) : 1-37 : link
  5. The Life and Times of Anne Royall (Cedar Rapids, 1909) : link (hathitrust, Yale copy)
    from which —

    “As a chronicler, Anne Royall possesses points valuable to the historian and student. She was a comprehensive observer. Nothing objective ever escaped her forest-trained eye. She was honest. She had a man’s liking for accurate information about the manner in which things were done and made. Whenever possible, she verified statements. She always went to headquarters for information. She delighted in the multiplication of buildings as the country grew. She loved to gather statistics. Hence her descriptions of places are trustworthy.”
    p 239-240 : link

on Anne (Newport) Royall (1769-1854), in addition to the above, see
wikipedia : link
and references therein, including
Cynthia Earman, “An Uncommon Scold” (text of a presentation at the Library of Congress, January 2000) : link

4 March 2023