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Repository: Gallaudet University Archives Call No.: MSS 78Creator: Title: Collection of the St. Ann's Church for the Deaf, 1853-1984Quantity: 2.5 Linear Feet (5 document boxes) Abstract: 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, establishes 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 serves as vicar of St. Ann's. During September of 1854, St. Ann's is legally incorporated and five years late, in July of 1859, St. Ann's moves into its own building. In 1872, Thomas Gallaudet organizes "The Church Mission to Deaf Mutes". In 1876, the first home for aged and inform 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 merges with St. Matthew's Church in 1897 amid acrimonious debate; St. Matthew's assumes 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, dies. The new vicar is John Chamberlain and he serves from 1902-1921. During his term, the rebuilding of the Gallaudet Home takes place in 1903. St. Ann's Guild House was dedicated on December 12, 1912. In 1921, John Chamberlain dies and John H. Kent takes over as vicar until the late 1920s. In the late 1920s, Guilbert C. Braddock becomes vicar and serves 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 Angel's Church from 1963-1966. In 1964, Eric J. Whiting takes over as vicar and serves until 1970, when Jay Croft takes over for six years until 1976. Columba Gilliss serves as vicar from 1976-1984 and turns the reins over to Steven Hagar.
Scope and Content
The St. Ann's Church for the Deaf collection consist 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 a 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.
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