Symbol of the Church Mission to Deaf-Mutes

Year: 1873-1879

In 1872, the Church Mission to Deaf-Mutes, an Episcopal organization, was founded to expand “ministry to the deaf of other cities.”1 The mission society grew out of the ministerial efforts of Rev. Thomas Gallaudet at St. Ann’s Church for Deaf-Mutes in New York City and as the organization grew, the missionary efforts were expanded to include deaf populations further afield and created leadership opportunities for deaf clergymen. As members of the Mission, these missionaries aimed to “ increase the number of religious services for the deaf and dumb throughout the country; to relieve deaf- mutes who are in sickness or trouble; to find work for those who are out of employment, and especially to provide a home for the aged and infirm.”2 The activities of the Mission led to the founding of the Conference on Church Work Among the Deaf, an organization that was active in the United States as recently as 1996.

Utilizing the annual reports of the Mission, this project attempted to uncover the growth of these efforts in the first six years of the organization (1873-1879). Note data is unavailable for 1876. This visualization was created as part of coursework at George Mason University, for Clio 3: Programming in History/New Media and American Religious History after 1965. Blog posts describing the development of this project can be found at my blog.

1. Unknown, “The Church Mission to Deaf-Mutes,” undated, c 1910, 1, Box #45, Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

2. “Miscellaneous; Church Mission to Deaf-Mutes,” American Annals of the Deaf 18, no. 2 (April 1873): 129.