The Third Volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies Series
In 1917, Henri Gaillard led a delegation of deaf French men to the United States for the centennial celebration of the American School for the Deaf (ASD). The oldest school for deaf students in America, ASD had been cofounded by renowned deaf French teacher Laurent Clerc, thus inspiring Gaillard's invitation. Gaillard visited deaf people everywhere he went and recorded his impressions in a detailed journal. His essays present a sharply focused portrait of the many facets of Deaf America during a pivotal year in its history.
Gaillard crossed the Atlantic only a few weeks after the United States entered World War I. In his writings, he reports the efforts of American deaf leaders to secure employment for deaf workers to support the war effort. He also witnesses spirited speeches at the National Association of the Deaf convention decrying the replacement of sign language by oral education. Gaillard also depicts the many local institutions established by deaf Americans, such as Philadelphia's All Souls Church, founded in 1888 by the country's first ordained deaf pastor, and the many deaf clubs established by the first wave of deaf college graduates in their communities. His journal stands as a unique chronicle of the American Deaf community during a remarkable era of transition.
Henri Gaillard was the editor of the Gazette des Sourd-Muets (Deaf Gazette), at that time the only independent newspaper in France devoted to its Deaf community. He died in 1941.
In this unusual blend of chronological and personal history, Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder combines scholarly sources with family memories to create a loving and informed history of Presho, South Dakota, and her family's life there from the time of settlement in 1905 to the mid 1950s.
Schwieder tells the story of this small town in the West River country, with its harsh and unpredictable physical environment, through the activities of her father, Walter Hubbard, and his family of ten children. Walter Hubbard’s experiences as a business owner and town builder and his attitudes toward work, education, and family both reflected and shaped the lives of Presho's inhabitants and the town itself.
While most histories of the Plains focus on farm life, Schwieder writes entirely about small-town society. She uses newspaper accounts, state and county histories, census data, interviews with residents, and the childhood memories of herself and her nine siblings to create an entwined, first-hand social and economic portrait of life on main street from the perspective of its citizens.