19th Century Reformers

By: Emily Pfitzner

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

Thomas Hopkins was the first Educator for the school for the deaf. Thomas graduated from Yale in 1805 with a degree in Education. His interest for the School of the Death was because his daughter Alice Cogswell was deaf. He opened the first school for people who had hearing loss/ or speech disabilities.

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Neal Dow

Neal Dow was active in the cause of abolition of Negro slavery. At the age of 57, he raised and commanded the Thirteenth Maine Regiment of Volunteers for service in the Civil War.


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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individual and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States

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William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison was a known for being a American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

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Horance Mann

"The Father of American Education"," Horace Mann, was born in Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1796. Mann's schooling consisted only of brief and erratic periods of eight to ten weeks a year. Mann educated himself by reading ponderous volumes from the Franklin Town Library. This self education, combined with the fruits of a brief period of study with an intinerant school master, was sufficient to gain him admission to the sophomore class of Brown University in 1816"

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Dorothea Dix

She was firstly a teacher and then a social reformer for the treatment of the mentally ill. In her life her goals were not defined, she simply did whatever would best help people. She began a change in the United States with mental institutions at the age of 39 She had covered half of the United States and Europe inspecting institutions for mistreatment by the time she was 54. In a period of fifteen years this woman did more than most people do in a lifetime. Not only did her achievements spark immediate response, her changes are still being felt today with the way mental patients are treated. This one woman accomplished much for humanity within her lifespan.

Dr. Sylvester Graham

Best known today for his invention of Graham crackers, was from a line of clergymen-physicians and was born in West Suffield in 1794, the 17th child of the 72-year old Reverend John Graham, Jr. Graham decided to prepare for the ministry also, and studied languages at Amherst College briefly in 1823. Following a long illness, he began preaching for the Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, and in 1830 was made general agent for the Pennsylvania Temperance Society.