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Dec 9, 2022
Manuscripts – MSS 78 – St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf, est. 1852
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
MSS 78 – St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf, est. 1852
Collection of the St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf, 1853-1984
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 78
Title: Collection of the St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf, 1853-1984
Quantity: 2.5 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)
Note: This document last updated 2006 January 9.
Acquisition Information: St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf papers were donated to the Gallaudet University Archives by Henry L. Buzzard.
Processed by: Kevin D. Corbitt. 1989 August 11.
Processing Note: Revised by Margaret A. Steedman, 1998 May 29.
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.
Related Material in the Archives: See ALADIN
In 1852, Thomas Gallaudet, the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and elder brother of Edward Miner Gallaudet, established St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf in the chapel of New York University on the first Sunday in October. From 1852-1902, for fifty years, Thomas Gallaudet served as vicar of St. Ann’s. During September of 1854, St. Ann’s was legally incorporated and five years later, in July of 1859, St. Ann’s moved into its own building. In 1872, Thomas Gallaudet organized “The Church Mission to Deaf Mutes”. In 1876, the first home for aged and informed deaf people was established in New York City. This home was named the Gallaudet Home and was moved to a new property along the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, NY in 1887.
In 1895, the original church building was sold and services were held at St. John the Evangelist church. St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf merged with St. Matthew’s Church in 1897 amid acrimonious debate; St. Matthew’s assumed responsibility for St. Ann’s. Within a year, a new church building was consecrated by Bishop Potter on December 26, 1898.
The Gallaudet Home burned down in 1900 and two years later, in 1902, on August 27, the founder of St. Ann’s, Thomas Gallaudet, died. The new vicar is John Chamberlain and he served from 1902-1921. During his term, the rebuilding of the Gallaudet Home took place in 1903. St. Ann’s Guild House was dedicated on December 12, 1912. In 1921, John Chamberlain died and John H. Kent took over as vicar until the late 1920s. In the late 1920s, Guilbert C. Braddock became vicar and served until the mid 1940s. his tenure saw controversy flare about the relationship of St. Ann’s and St. Matthew’s. Edwin Nies serves St. Ann’s prior to his ordination as a clergyman, and in 1948, sees the ties severed between St. Ann’s and St. Matthew’s. The building was sold and services were held at St. Mark’s in the Bouwerie church from 1949-1960. Edwin Nies completes his tenure as vicar in 1964. Services were held at St. Michael’s church from 1960-1963, then at All Angels’ Church from 1963-1966. In 1964, Eric J. Whiting took over as vicar and served until 1970, when Jay Croft took over for six years until 1976. Columba Gilliss served as vicar from 1976-1984 and turned the reins over to Steven Hagar.
Scope and Content
The St. Ann’s Church for the Deaf collection consists largely of printed religious matter, the records of church organizations, correspondence to and from various vicars, and a number of clippings from various sources related to the deaf.
The collection which consists of approximately 1500 items, dates from 1853-1984. The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to St. Ann’s. This includes materials printed by St. Ann’s, articles about St. Ann’s, and correspondence from several vicars. Vicars whose correspondence is included in the papers are: Thomas Gallaudet, John Chamberlain, John H. Kent, and Guilbert C. Braddock. Generally the letters written and received by the vicars reflect the mission work of St. Ann’s. Most prevalent is correspondence concerning the Gallaudet home. Parish organizations left considerable printed and manuscript records. These include report books, expenditure and statements, printed material such as by-laws and invitations, and letters received by the organizations.
Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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