IN RELATION TO
ST. ANN'S CHURCH
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 1858,
A meeting of persons interested in the success of this Church, was held on Wednesday evening, May 19th, 1858, in the Lecture Room of the New-York Historical Society, corner of Second Avenue and Eleventh-street.
The Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, D. D., Provisional Bishop of the Diocese, took the Chair, and requested the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, Rector of the Church, to open the Meeting with prayer.
The Rev. Dr. Eigenbrodt having been appointed Secretary, the Rector read the following:
The first services of "St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes," were held on Sunday, October 3, 1852, in the smaller chapel of the New-York University. In relation to its progress up to the present time, I propose to speak very briefly, making its striking points stand out each one by itself; rather than aiming at a chronological arrangement.
The name of St. Ann's was fixed upon for its shortness and simplicity, as it was thought to be best to join to the general name of the parish the speciality which called it into being, that, under the corporate title of "St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes," it might be known throughout its subsequent course as peculiarly the spiritual home of deaf-mutes and their families. It was at first supposed that the name, being a contraction for Anna, commemorated that venerable prophetess in Israel, who gave thanks at the sight of the infant Emanuel; but afterwards it was suggested by one more learned in such matters than ourselves, that there was a tradition in the early church that the mother of the blessed Virgin Mary was honored as St. Ann. It matters [3/4] not greatly as to the person commemorated--some devout matron of the great communion of saints. We have a graceful and euphonious name, and one also rich in meaning, as Anna signifies gracious--a giver. We have, at any rate, the reality--a Christian Church--"in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered according to Christ's ordinance." God grant that, in his providence, "St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes" may prove a gracious giver of gospel blessings to all who may come under her influence, especially to that portion of her spiritual children who have been so graphically described as the "children of silence."
It may not be amiss to state in plain language what has been already intimated in these remarks upon the name. Our church was founded to gather in not only deaf-mutes, but their children, (who, with but very few exceptions, hear and speak,) and all others willing to promote their welfare. Our services, held now every Lord's Day in this beautiful and appropriate room, where the sittings are free to all, are, therefore, conducted vocally morning and evening, and by signs in the afternoon. In this way, a self-supporting parish is gradually being built up. Deaf-mutes, by themselves, would not be able to maintain a church; besides, their mingling with hearing and speaking friends in the pleasant associations of parish life, are a very great advantage to them, as intercommunication can be easily established, either by means of writing or using the manual alphabet. Deaf-mutes are often present at the vocal services, reading the service and the lessons from their prayer-books and bibles--a single sign from the minister indicating to them the places. On the Sundays when the Holy Communion is administered, we see a large number of deaf-mutes at the morning service, for they have thus far constituted a majority of our communicants. Whenever a brother clergyman favors us with a sermon in the evening, this is translated for the benefit of the deaf-mutes who are present. When it comes our turn to worship in a consecrated temple, free from debt--and to gain strength enough to support an assistant minister to be trained in the use of the sign-language, preparatory to filling the Rector's place, should he be called away--the two could so manage that translations at all the vocal services would render them attractive and instructive to the deaf-mute portion of the parish.
This earnest gaze into the future leads me to digress a moment. With our church fairly established in this city, having two clergymen conversant with the sign-language, [4/5] we could be of material service to deaf-mutes residing at a distance. In these days of rapid traveling, baptisms, marriages, visitations to the dying, burials among deaf-mutes, could be attended to with but little difficulty through quite a wide extent of country. Convocations might be held at prominent points, and deaf-mutes exhorted to do their duty as Christian men and women. This would open a wide field of useful labor. It is understood, of course, that in referring to deaf-mutes as members of our parish, and thus scattered abroad in the cities and villages of our land, I mean educated deaf-mutes, those who, having experienced the fostering care of the Institution, have passed out to take their parts in the busy hum of life. The Institution and the Church each has its appropriate work in leading these children of silence along that gracious pathway whose end is eternal life. The pupils of the various institutions of our country are blessed with religious services conducted in their own chapels by faithful teachers. The mission of this parish is one of peace and good-will to deaf-mute young men and women--our own comrades, brethren, standing more emphatically shoulder to shoulder with us in the great issues of time and eternity.
The number of adult deaf-mutes now residing in New-York and its suburbs is estimated to be between 125 and 150. I cannot speak with precision, for as yet I have not had the time to make such examinations as would satisfy me upon this point. The greater portion are from time to time in attendance upon our services, and scarcely a Sunday passes without there being present some deaf-mute from a distance, making a visit to the city on business or pleasure. Thus it will be seen that, in the very infancy of our undertaking, we have the opportunity of ministering to no inconsiderable numbers of immortal beings, who, without this church, would be left in a great measure as sheep without a shepherd.
The following statistics will indicate some of the work which has been accomplished by our parish from its commencement in October 1852, to the present time. There have been baptized 11 adults, 10 of whom were deaf-mutes; and 33 children, 14 of whom had deaf-mute parents. There have been confirmed 36 persons, 26 of whom were deaf-mutes; there have been married 21 couples, 10 of which were deaf-mutes; there have been 30 burials, 8 for deaf-mute persons and 2 for children of deaf-mute parents; there have been received 83 communicants, 43 of whom were deaf-mutes. Death and removal to other parishes has [5/6] reduced the number of communicants at present actually connected with the church to 52 persons, 28 of whom are deaf-mutes. To convey a perfectly distinct impression in relation to the details of this work, it should be stated that I went out from the city to perform the marriage ceremony for five of the above-mentioned deaf-mute couples, and one of the burials for the dead; that one of the children, of deaf-mute parents, was baptized in North Adams, Mass.; and that a deaf-mute young woman came from the northern part of this State to receive baptism. Where deaf-mutes have removed to other places, they have generally received letters to the Rectors of churches there, and have become regular attendants upon public worship, deriving great pleasure from reading the service in the Prayer Book: so that the good influences started here have been, it is to be hoped, continued. We have had a small Sunday School, in which have been children of deaf-mute parents. All have been trained in the Catechism. During the progress of our work, I have devoted as much time as I could spare from the daily duties pressing on me at the institution, to visiting, paying special attention to those deaf-mutes who were in sickness and trouble. I have, on numerous occasions, administered the Holy Communion to deaf-mutes upon the bed of death, and have had the satisfaction of beholding the consolations of our blessed religion finding their way through serene eyes, and bearing peace to wounded hearts. Words cannot adequately describe these silent ministrations, performed, I humbly trust, in accordance with the directions of Him who came to seek and to save that which was lost. I have witnessed among deaf-mutes some of the most touching evidences of that inner life which is implanted in the breasts of the faithful by the Blessed Comforter.
But, my brethren, so long as we are working out our Master's cause upon earth, we must keep material matters in view as well as spiritual. Within a few months after our first Sunday service, our Building Fund was started. In relation to the necessary sum to be obtained, and the best use to be made of it, circumstances from time to time have induced us to change our views and to modify our plans. We have always tried to act for the best, having reference to the future as well as the present. The whole amount raised in this fund, from all sources, is $19,860 72. From this was paid for our four lots on the south side of 26th-street, between the 6th and 7th Avenues, original cost $16,500; interest and expenses, before they could be held free from all incumbrances, $1,383 80; total, $17,883 80. [6/7] Since then we have paid on these lots, for taxes and expenses, $180 73. In connection with our removal to this room, in order to insure growth in parish strength, and thus contribute to the general success of our undertaking, we were obliged to expend for our new organ, and fixtures and kneeling-benches--all of which can be used in the proposed church--the sum of $658 54. We have cash in hand $352 65, and unpaid subscriptions amounting to $785--in all $1,137 65, as the nucleus of the sum which must yet be raised before we can build. Considering that we are engaged in establishing the only church which, in human probability, will ever be called for in this city to take special care of deaf-mutes and their families--and that in order to make it self-supporting, we must have room for five or six hundred persons at the vocal services--it is thought that we must secure $25,000, if we would erect an edifice suitable to our purpose. Deaf-mutes derive so much pleasure from the eye, that, without going to any extravagance, it seems proper that in their sanctuary for the worship of Almighty God, should be seen all the graces of Christian art. It is our determination to keep entirely out of debt in carrying on our undertaking to the result for which we have so long prayed and labored, viz.:--the erection of "St. Ann's Church for Deaf Mutes." We secured the building site of four lots, so that, in process of time, we might be able to put alongside of the church a building to contain a lecture-room, reading-room, library, philosophical and other apparatus, in which we could improve the intellectual condition of our deaf-mute brethren; but this plan we must keep in the back-ground for the present, though it is important, and I fully believe eventually practicable. Give us the church, and there I am confident we can collect the faithful, who will gradually be able to unfold all our plans for the benefit of those who are cut off from so many privileges enjoyed by their hearing and speaking companions.
In relation to our parish funds, I will simply say that with $500 a year from Trinity Church, and occasional aid from kind friends outside of our parish, we have been able to meet the necessary expenses of sustaining our services and to pay the Rector a small salary, averaging about $250 a year. We have contributed a little to the general objects of the church at large, and we have taken care of our sick and poor. We receive the offerings of the people from Sunday to Sunday. In passing through the ordeal of removal from the University to this room--more than doubling our expenses--we have been a little cramped; though, upon [7/8] the whole, we have greatly improved our condition as a parish. Just at present, a very moderate amount of aid from our friends would be timely. Twenty-five dollars would settle every claim upon our Parish fund. This being paid, I think that we shall be able to keep everything squared up for the future, as we are constantly gaining parish strength.
During the greater portion of our existence as a church, we have had a course of weekly evening lectures for deaf-mutes at No. 59 Bond-street. Before our Institution was removed from 50th-street to Washington Heights, several of the Professors took turns in lecturing; but latterly, I have been obliged to do this principally myself. During the fall and winter, I gave quite a literal translation into signs of Knickerbocker's History of New-York. I am now engaged in translating Dr. Kane's last work. I use a portion of the evening in giving an abstract of the news of the week. It will be recollected, perhaps, by some, that it was the weekly evening Bible-class, started in the vestry-room of St. Stephen's Church in the fall of 1850, which opened the way for the establishment of our parish. The Bible-class, on the first evening, consisted of one person. Have we not indeed grown up from the sprouting of a single mustard seed?
Our Church is regularly incorporated and in union with the Convention of the diocese. At the last election, held on Easter Tuesday, Messrs. Cyrus Curtiss and C. C. Lathrop were chosen Wardens, and Messrs. Robert Gracie, Benjamin R. Winthrop, D. Henry Haight, Charles A. Budd, M. D., J. O. Bronson, M. D., Josiah Jones, Franklin Campbell and James L. Harris, Vestrymen. The last three are deaf-mutes.
My Christian brethren, I have thus briefly attempted to set before you faithfully the actual growth and present position of "St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes." God has brought us along a pleasant pathway of flowers and smiles. The petty trials we have had have all yielded to the combined sway of patience, perseverance and hope. We have had no spasms--scarcely any excitement. We have enjoyed our healthy, natural, gradual growth; nothing has been forced. As the way has opened, we have striven to walk in it. We wish that all the kind friends whom God has raised up to us, at one stage and another of our progress, were here to-night, that we might receive their congratulations, and that they might behold our gratitude. To those who are here, we say to each and every one:--"God bless you!" for enabling us to minister to our deaf-mute brethren. [8/9] But some have passed on before us to the mysterious scenes of the future life. Their serene joy is not lessened by the remembrance of the time when, upon earth, they showed kindness to those whom God had made to be indeed a peculiar people. Five years ago this spring, at the first public meeting which we called, fifteen of our prominent citizens, both clerical and lay, consented to co-operate with Bishop Wainwright, as an Executive Committee, to commence our Building Fund. Three of the number have been gathered to their fathers. It is fitting that, to-night, we show grateful honor to the memory of the good bishop, who so heartily and zealously threw his whole influence into the work, and to our good friends William A. Spencer, Robert D. Weeks and Augustin Averill, who did all in their power towards our success.
My Christian brethren, our simple story has been told. I trust that it has inspired your confidence in our undertaking, as one of genuine Christian benevolence; as one in harmony with the key-note of love which the angelic host sounded when their jubilant song broke upon the midnight stillness of Bethlehem's hills--"Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good-will towards men." I trust that you can see in us humble followers of Jesus of Nazareth, uttering the living word "Ephphatha" to the spiritual ears of these children of silence, that they may at length enter upon eternal life, and listen to the music of harpers harping on their harps in the city of God.
Shall our work be pushed on to completion? Shall we be permitted to worship the Almighty midst consecrated courts--our own spiritual home? Do you all say, Yes. If so, the time has come for me to make a personal request. I desire to be placed in a position in which I can labor with more effect for our cause. If my salary at the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb can be made up, I shall deem it my duty to resign my connection with it, in order to take vigorously hold of the important work of completing our Building Fund, and to give increased attention to parochial work. My income at the Institution is $1,400 a year. To make this up, I have a simple plan to propose:--One of our prominent citizens has a deaf-mute son about seventeen years of age. He desires me to begin, on the first of next October, the instruction of this son for two hours a day. For this I should receive $400 a year. I think that the remaining $1,000 might be made up by 100 persons subscribing $10 each for one year, beginning on the first of next October, with the understanding that their subscriptions should [9/10] continue another year if necessary. So soon as we can be placed in our church edifice, free from debt, I firmly believe that all appeals for aid from us to the Church at large will cease. My brethren, will you enable me to go to work next fall in earnest? I need not say to my esteemed friend--my father's friend--the venerable President of our noble Institution, that in case my proposal meets with favor, I shall resign with heart-felt regret the pleasant duties which, under his guidance, I have for nearly fifteen years endeavored faithfully to discharge. I need not say to all my other dear friends there, my co-laborers in an arduous profession, that it will for a time seem very strange not to look daily upon their familiar faces and to hear cheerful greetings, as we have labored for the children whom God has placed in our charge. I need not say to the gentlemen who constitute our Board of Directors, that my satisfaction at entering more fully upon ecclesiastical work will be tinged with sadness at the thought that I must cease to enjoy their uniform courtesy and kindness. For one and all know that our Institution, and the persons connected with it, have ever been objects of deep and abiding interest to me. Yes, it will, in many respects, be a trial for me to leave the Institution, now entering upon a new career of prosperity and usefulness. But, my brethren, does not the path of duty now seem to lie in the direction which I have indicated? I think it does; and therefore I ask you to enable me to walk in this path, that much more than has yet been accomplished to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of adult deaf-mutes, may be the result.
After the reading of the foregoing statement, Dr. Peet, the President of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in this city, rose and said:--
MR. CHAIRMAN:--I hold in my hand, some resolutions which I desire to submit to the consideration of this meeting; which, with your permission, I will read in my place, and then send them to the chair.
Resolved, That the enterprise of providing the means of religious instruction and public worship for the deaf and dumb in this city, as set forth in the statement just made by the Rector of St. Ann's Church for Deaf-Mutes, commends itself to the judgment of this meeting, and we cordially recommend to Christian philanthropists to encourage and sustain it, by individual subscription or otherwise, until its [10/11] completion, and the parish shall become a self-sustaining church.
Resolved, That in order to place the Rector of St. Ann's Church in a position in which he can labor more effectually to accomplish the objects he has in view, this meeting regards with favor the plan to raise $1,000 towards his support in 100 annual subscriptions of ten dollars each, and continuing, if necessary, till the proposed church edifice is consecrated.
These resolutions having been seconded by J. O. Bronson, M. D., Dr. Peet spoke as follows:--
In support of these resolutions, I desire to say a few words. Our divine Redeemer said to his disciples, "The poor you have with you always." The great majority of the deaf and dumb may be said to be embraced in this category, not that the number of this class is disproportionate, but because the number of those who are required to labor for their support is much greater in every community, than that of those who are free from this necessity. Compared with the whole population, the wealthy are few. The causes of deaf-dumbness exist among all classes, and the families of the rich are subject to the visitations of this fearful calamity as well as others. As nearly as it can be ascertained, about three-fifths of those who are thus afflicted, are congenital cases, and two-fifths are produced by disease or accident. In the latter class, the diseases denominated by physicians exanthemata, as scarlet fever and measles, are a fruitful source of deafness, and these are not limited by climate, or rank, or modes of living; and hence deaf-mutes are found in every condition of life.
When educated, they can minister to their own wants, and contribute as well to the productive industry of the country as others in the corresponding walks of life; but being few in number, and dependent upon the labor of their hands for support, and scattered over a wide extent of territory, they cannot build institutions of learning, nor houses of worship. It is only in large cities that a sufficient number are collected together to justify attempting such an enterprise as the one which we have met to promote this evening. The statistics with regard to the deaf and dumb, in this city, contained in the statement which has just been submitted, show the importance of securing a permanent provision for their religious instruction, by the erection of a church edifice and the settlement of a Christian pastor, who [11/12] shall feed them with the bread of knowledge, in a mode adapted to their peculiar condition.
But it is not my purpose to speak of the value of religious institutions as connected with their salvation, by leading them to the knowledge of Christ, which, indeed, cannot be over-estimated; there are things which affect their physical and social well-being which must not be overlooked. I have already said they can support themselves; but they need the aid of a judicious adviser to obtain suitable situations, to secure an adequate compensation for their labor, and to invest safely their moderate earnings. As a class, they are more credulous than others, believe without examination, what is told them, and hence are liable to be imposed upon. Without regular employment, they are in danger of lapsing into habits of vagrancy which lead to ruin; and without proper care in investing the proceeds of their labor, they may lose the earnings of years. As an illustration of this last remark, I will cite a case of recent occurrence.
One of our former pupils settled in this city as a journeyman mechanic, and by industry and economy, he had, in the course of several years, in addition to supporting himself; accumulated about eight hundred dollars, which he left in the hands of his employer. In the revulsion of business through which this community has recently passed, his employer failed, and he lost all that he saved of his hard earnings. The shock was too great for him to bear; his mind became unsettled; he returned to the place of his former residence, and there committed suicide by drowning. Now if the pastor of this church had been in a condition to look after the affairs of this unfortunate man, and had induced him, as he might easily have done, to put his money into a Savings Bank, or otherwise to invest it in good securities, this sad catastrophe might have been arrested.
The importance of pastoral visitation and kind supervision and advice, with regard to their temporal affairs, derives additional illustration by reference to the condition of the deaf and dumb in the city of London. In that metropolis, there are two thousand deaf-mutes--a number equal to the whole population of this class of persons in this State. In the British schools, with few exceptions, no trades are taught, and it is a feature of their system to apprentice their pupils, on leaving school, to some handicraft, by paying a fee to the master. After entering upon his new employment, the deaf-mute finds the restraint, exaction, and unremitted toil of the shop, contrast unfavorably with the study [12/13] and recreation of the school, and without having the reasonableness of this change in his condition fully explained to him, he becomes impatient; shows his impatience, it may be, in acts of insubordination--a misunderstanding ensues, his indentures are broken, and he leaves his place. It may be that the fault is not wholly to be attributed to him--the master may sometimes be to blame. Destitution, vagrancy and crime not unfrequently follow. So great, indeed, were the evils of such a state of things, that an association of gentlemen was formed, some years ago, for the benefit of the adult deaf and dumb, to prevent, or remedy those evils. This society did not contemplate a church organization, though it did provide, to some extent, for their religious instruction on the Sabbath; but by the appointment of an agent, to obtain for them situations, to protect them in their rights, to shield them from temptation, and to encourage and aid them to become good citizens. These objects cannot fail to commend themselves to the good sense of every one; for it must be obvious, that under such a state of things as that to which I have referred, without some such provision, no inconsiderable portion of the benefit of instruction must otherwise be lost.
In respect to openings for employment, the deaf and dumb in this country are more favorably situated than in Great Britain, or on the continent. Here they are not required to go through with a regular apprenticeship, as the condition of entering a shop with journeymen mechanics. In the hours of recreation and labor, during the progress of their education, they acquire a knowledge of the rudiments of a trade; and although they cannot, in the outset, compete with the skill of experience, they are not, as a consequence, debarred the opportunity of doing what they can, and of receiving an adequate compensation for their labor. Time and some additional instruction will render them good workmen, and place them on an equality with their more favored brethren.
Though these considerations are in their favor, the instances of failure are too many to justify our neglect to afford them sympathy, and kind cooperation in their efforts to help themselves. Some of those who have fallen might have been saved, had timely aid been rendered.
For the reasons thus briefly stated, in support of the resolutions, I trust the propriety of adopting them must be obvious to this meeting; for if the Rector of St. Ann's Church can be placed in a position to give his whole time and attention to the duties of the parish, in addition to [13/14] the regular ministrations of the Sabbath, he can perform such specific pastoral labors as will bring to his notice the condition, circumstances, and wants of every member of his flock; and this knowledge, derived from personal observation, will point out an intelligent and safe course of action adapted to each individual case.
Should he be sustained in this enterprise which he has undertaken, it will, as he has already stated, involve the necessity of his relinquishing the post now occupied by him in the department of instruction at the Institution. In looking back upon its history, it seems to me that the providence of God has opened the way, and that he has only been following its leadings. He has alluded to the feelings which must be awakened by the contemplated change. Whatever regrets he may feel in relinquishing labors rendered easy by long experience--in severing ties strengthened by daily intercourse, and in giving up pleasant scenes and familiar faces and associations--their poignancy will be assuaged by the belief that he is pursuing the pathway of duty, in accordance with the indications of Providence.
Mr. Gallaudet has made an allusion to myself and the Institution with which we are connected. I cordially reciprocate the kind feelings of personal regard and attachment which he has expressed, and shall regret, not less than himself, his retirement from his present field of labor. At the same time, should his appeal to this meeting and the Christian public be responded to, he will have my best wishes and prayers for his success. His father was my friend, and we labored together for several years in the same benevolent work. I rejoice that the mantle of the father has fallen upon the son; and as the former introduced the art of deaf-mute instruction into the country, so the latter is about to carry out, not indeed what was once contemplated--the establishment of a community of deaf-mutes--but a scheme for their higher civilization and spiritual good.
In the hope, sir, that these resolutions will be adopted by this meeting, I conclude these brief remarks as I began, by quoting from the words of our Saviour:--
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Dr. Peet having finished his remarks, Mr. Josiah Jones, a deaf-mute vestryman of the parish, made a short address in the sign-language, which was translated orally by the Rector. He alluded to the great advantages which his brethren and himself had in the services of this church, and [14/15] expressed his gratitude to all who had thus far aided in fostering and sustaining it. He spoke of the earnest desire which deaf-mutes felt that the proposed edifice should be built as speedily as possible. He contrasted the condition of a deaf-mute person, enfeebled by disease, enjoying the visits of a pastor who could converse freely with him in the sign language, with one who was deprived of this privilege. Deaf-mutes in health and strength could converse with clergymen by writing; but when upon beds of severe sickness, their fingers could not guide a pencil. He thought that the deaf-mutes of this city were happy in having a pastor who could visit them in their troubles, baptize their children, perform their marriage ceremonies, and attend to their funerals. In his whole manner, Mr. Jones showed the deep interest which he took in the prosperity of this church.
Dr. Eigenbrodt followed in a few words expressive of his cordial good-will towards the undertaking to which his brother in the ministry had devoted himself. After a graceful allusion to language as God's gift to man, he dwelt for a moment upon this new language of signs, through which the blessed truths of the Gospel could be made known to those who had been deprived of their hearing. He heartily approved the resolutions which had been introduced by the President of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and thought that if Mr. Gallaudet had faith enough in the cause which he had espoused, to induce him to give up a salary which was pledged by the State of New-York, and throw himself for temporary support upon the subscriptions of individuals, surely one hundred persons could readily be found who would be willing to make up the sum for which he asked.
Mr. G. C. W. Gamage, a deaf-mute instructor in the Institution, in an address by signs which was translated orally, called attention to the fact that the Institution was now so distant from the populous portions of the city that deaf-mutes residing here were cut off from the privileges of the chapel and therefore absolutely needed this church. He said that his deaf-mute brethren here in the city had been in the habit of assembling for worship and instruction for upwards of five years in hired rooms, and thought that the time had come to hasten forward the erection of the church on the site which was now owned free from debt. He hoped that his friend Mr. Gallaudet, would be sustained in all his efforts to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of adult deaf-mutes.
Dr. R. Ogden Doremus, Professor of Chemistry, in the [15/16] Thirteenth-street Medical College, expressed his great gratification at what he had seen and heard, and gave it as his decided opinion that the Rector of St. Ann's would without any doubt be sustained in devoting himself more fully to the interests of his parish. He knew that the public desired this undertaking to succeed. Although he was attached to the Dutch Reformed Church, he heartily sympathized with this whole movement, and pledged himself for ten subscriptions towards the Rector's salary. George F. Nesbitt, Esq., pledged himself for five.
Mr. James Beatty, a deaf-mute communicant of the parish, came forward and said by signs that his feelings would not allow him to remain silent. He graphically contrasted his condition in Ireland with his present privileges in a church where he could understand the services and the sermon. He expressed his deep gratitude to the Rector for all his kindness, and to the Bishop for confirming his two oldest daughters.
Bishop Potter then briefly summed up the prominent points which had been made in the different addresses of the evening, and said it was evident that the proposed church should be built as soon as practicable, and that the Rector should be enabled to devote himself more thoroughly to the interests of the parish. He dwelt particularly upon the deep feeling which the deaf-mutes themselves had manifested in this undertaking for their benefit and closed with an earnest exhortation to Christian people to help it forward with their sympathy, their money and their prayers.
The resolutions offered by Dr. Peet were then unanimously adopted.
On motion of Robert Gracie, Esq., it was resolved that a collection be made to defray the expenses of the meeting, appropriating any balance that might remain to the Parish Fund.
On motion of B. L. Budd, M. D., it was resolved, that a committee be chosen to give publicity to the proceedings of this meeting. Under the resolution the following gentlemen were appointed:--The Rt. Rev. H. Potter, D. D., Harvey P. Peet, LL. D., R. Ogden Doremus, M. D., Bern L. Budd, M. D., Mr. Josiah Jones, and the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet.
The meeting then adjourned.