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Alice Cogswell

Alice SilhouetteAlice was the first pupil to enroll in the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction for the Deaf and Dumb Persons in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817.

Alice had a lively intelligence and spirited personality. She had quiet powers of mimicry and could easily amuse people when she impersonated their friends. She enjoyed reading, sewing and dancing. She especially enjoyed parties hosted by her parents. Music fascinated her. She was very inquisitive about how music worked. She usually carried her small slate to make conversation with people who could not speak through sign language. She was able to speak aloud a few words. One was “PRETTY.”

Registry Alice NameAlice graduated in 1824 at the age of 19 years. After she graduated, she did some traveling. In 1830, thirteen days after the death of her father from pneumonia, she died from a broken heart. They were buried in a family plot in Old North Cemetery, Hartford.

The only known portrait of Alice is a profile silhouette displayed in the museum at the American School for the Deaf, West Hartford.

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