Julia Brace In Remembrance Part V: Cemetery Visit and Fun Facts

| Back to Index

Hello again. I'm here at Mountain View Cemetery. Years ago, it was called West Hill Cemetery. But it is now known as Mountain View Cemetery. 

It was here that Julia was laid to rest. Behind me, there are two pillars that anchor the front gates that lead into the cemetery. There is a plaque on each of the pillars, with the inscription that says Mountain View Cemetery. There are a variety of burial sites at the cemetery. Some of them have larger monuments, some are more curved headstones, while others are short rectangular markers. 

We don't know exactly where Julia's grave site is. It is unfortunate that, for whatever reason, her family chose not to mark her grave site. 

As I walk around. I notice that there are grave sites from the early 1800s, which to me, is fascinating. I'm showing this cemetery to everyone, as a part of this remembrance series. And, in a way, by doing so we are saying to Julia, "You are not forgotten. We do remember you. We remember your life. And we remember your challenges." 

Thank you for watching this dedication. 

The Bas-Relief

This is now Darlene. I'm standing here next to a Bas-Relief here at the Gallaudet Clerc Educational Center building at the American School for the Deaf. There is another sculpture like this outside on the Gallaudet Monument just outside the school. 

I'll take a moment to explain the significance. I'm pointing to the profile of Thomas Gallaudet sitting in a chair, his hand is closed, but extended as if he was instructing. There are three students, beginning with Alice, the first student at the school for the Deaf. Across from Gallaudet is George Loring. He is standing directly in front of Gallaudet and I'll explain a little bit more about him in a moment. The third student in the sculpture’s name is Witton. 

George Loring

Now about George Loring. George was born in Boston. He became deaf and blind in one eye at the age of two from a fever. He joined the American School for the Deaf at the age of nine. He graduated from the school and later went on to become a teacher for eight years at the school. George then moved back to his home city in Boston. 

He worked with his family who owned a banking business. The Perkins School for the Blind, in 1838, had a DeafBlind student there as well. Her name was Laura. It is unknown who her teachers were or if they were the ones to teach her sign language. What we do know is that George taught sign language to a hearing teacher by the name of Lydia. 

She used those signs to work with Laura Bridgeman. Another interesting fact is that George's family's home, was close to the sixth President of the United States. That President was John Quincy Adams. So George's family was potentially friends with John Quincy Adams' family. 

The Pioneers of ASD

So now I'd like to take a moment to talk about the work of the Pioneers of ASD. About three or four years ago, A team of about six individuals were talking about publishing a book about the history of ASD. As we were discussing the possibilities, and what it would look like, we asked Jeff Bravin who is the current President of ASD what his thoughts were. 

He thought that it was better to create an historical website that could be edited as new information came to light. Books are more static and difficult to edit. So the team went back to the drawing board and brought in a web designer out of Maryland, not someone from the American School for the Deaf, and contracted his services to find the best way to put historical content on a website. 

We thought it would include things like biographies of well known successful Deaf individuals, significant sports events, and possibly older signs that were very specific to ASD and other significant content. 

We realize this work is quite an undertaking, especially for a group of volunteers. However, we feel the time and energy dedicated is a worthwhile cause. We plan on meeting once a month, while corresponding through emails during the week. 

We're hoping to have something ready to show by fall of 2021. We are up to seven people on this team. This would be good for people who are engaged in research or alumni who are retired and would like to help. 

We will put a call out for contributions on the website when it goes live, which is hopefully in the fall. The page will be called ASD Pioneers. At this time, a sign name for this group has yet to be determined, thank you. 

Special thanks to

ASD for supporting this project

Darlene Borsotti for sharing history

Jean Linderman for finding and sharing information about Julia from the museum

Theresa Schmechel for voicing and supporting with captions/transcript

Works cited

Dartmouth College Library, "Julia Brace" by Gary E Wait

American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, Jan 1848, vol 2, no 2, p 9

Pauley's magazine, 1837, p 244- 245

History of James Mitchell, Conversations on Deaf Dumb, and Blind