Alexander Graham Bell Letter, 1870 Transcription return to item page

18 Harrington Sqr. N.W. London
May 10th 1870
Dear Sir

In the Report for 1867 of the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, I find you use the following words:

“The Committee of Instruction, at its meeting in September, authorized me to confer with some intelligent young man who had received a thorough medical education, with a view to his becoming a professor of articulation in the Institution … I have taken steps in the direction indicated by the Committee, but have not yet succeeded in finding a man qualified for this important post.”
Perhaps you have by this time been successful, but if not, I should like you to know that I am peculiarly fitted for the work required having been specially trained in this department for the purpose of correcting defects of speech. I have been engaged in teaching Articulation for the last six years. My age is twenty-three.

My name, I believe, is not unknown to you. I am a son of Mr. A. Melville Bell, Professor of Vocal Physiology, and author of “Visible Speech,” who had the pleasure of making your acquaintance in 1868.

I have recently superintended the progress of four deaf-and-dumb children who have been taught articulation by means of Visible Speech, and I have become so much interested in the work, that I should be willing to devote myself entirely to the teaching of the deaf-and-dumb if a suitable field presented itself.

I am told by those who have had an opportunity of hearing my pupils that they already articulate better than the majority of those who have been otherwise instructed for a much longer period. Two of the little girls are congenitally deaf.

In regard to Medical Education, I may say that I am a student of Medicine and Science—an undergraduate of the London University.

I had contemplated graduating only in Science; but, if a medical degree would render me more eligible for the Professorship of Articulation in the New York institution, I should, in view of a satisfactory arrangement, continue my medical studies, and pay particular attention of Aural Surgery.

Requesting the favour of a reply at your earliest convenience—

I am, dear Sir,

Yours very truly

A. Graham Bell.

I.L. Peet Esq., M.A.

A. Graham Bell with reference to teaching articulation May 10, 1870 announced his candidation at the Convention held Aug. 24/70
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