Notable Gallaudets from American history:


Elisha Gallaudet   (1730 - 1779)

Was a master engraver living in New York City and engraved the first US Coin, known as the "Continental Dollar" of 1776. 


Peter Wallace Gallaudet   (1756-1843)

Was personal assistant to President George Washington while Presidency was in 


Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet   (1787-1851)


The oldest son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Rev. Dr. Thomas Gallaudet founded the first church for the Deaf in America: St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes in New York City. The father had intended to become a priest, but had become an educator of the deaf instead. The son also intended to seek ordination, but was persuaded by his father to work for a while first as a teacher of the deaf. He did, and so met and married Miss Elizabeth Budd, who was deaf. He was ordained in 1851, and the next year established St. Ann's Church in New York City, especially for deaf persons, with services primarily in sign language. As a result of his work, congregations for the deaf were established in many cities. (Alternatively, some congregations that are mostly hearing will have someone standing near the front and signing the service for the benefit of deaf parishioners.)

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Thomas Gallaudet   (1822-1902)

Established the first school for the deaf in the United States. The "American School for the Deaf" is located in Hartford, Connecticut and was establish in 1817. Thomas was attending the Andover theological Seminary in Hartford when his next door neighbor, an eminent surgeon with a deaf daughter, asked Thomas if he would go to England and learn to educate the deaf which Thomas agreed to do. While Thomas was away, Dr. Cogswell would get together with town leaders and arrange funding for the new school. When Gallaudet arrived in England, he went to the Braidwood family which had a monopoly on deaf education in England but was rebuffed because, most likely, of his french name. He then went to Paris, France and studied under the Abbé Sicard 




Edson, the second son of Edward Miner Gallaudet, was a professor of Physics at Yale University when he became interested in airplane technology. In 1896, six years before the Wright Brothers, he constructed a model kite, now in the Smithsonian, which embodied the principle of the warping wing. Yale viewed the "tinkering with flying gimcracks" as a reflection on Yale. Accused of "making an ass of himself and a laughing stock of the faculty," Edson resigned. His model was stored in a barn in Connecticut, unpatented. In 1903, Edson took his family to Dayton Ohio to help the Wright Brothers with their endeavor. 

Edson F. Gallaudet along with his older brother Denison (1870-1927),  formed his own company based in Rhode Island, Gallaudet Engineering, in 1908 to become involved in aircraft manufacture. Indeed, the company officially became the Gallaudet Aircraft Company in 1917 and is regarded as the first Aircraft manufacturing company in the US. Gallaudet was primarily involved in the manufacture of seaplanes for the US Navy. Gallaudet Aircraft is the earliest ancestor of General Dynamics.

Gallaudet Aircraft Photos



Edward Miner Gallaudet   (1837-1917)

The youngest Son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Dr. Edward Miner Gallaudet was the founder and the first president of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and the Dumb (Renamed Gallaudet College in 1893 and renamed again in 1986, Gallaudet University upon receiving university status) in 1857 in Washington, D.C. He served as a president from 1864 to 1910. Gallaudet University is the only university devoted solely to the deaf and hearing impaired in the world.

Edson Fessenden Gallaudet   (1871-1945)