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Mason Fitch Cogswell

Mason Fitch CogswellMason Fitch Cogswell was a well known and successful doctor in Hartford, Connecticut.

He performed the first successful cataract operation in this country.

Dr. Cogswell was also a very strong supporter for the Institute of Living which is the facility to help socially and emotionally maladjusted people.

He had 4 daughters and a son. His third daughter, Alice, was the first deaf student to attend the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons.

Because Dr. Cogswell and his daughter Alice were very close, he often felt sad that she could not enjoy the same life that he did. After he talked to Thomas Gallaudet and Lydia Sigourney, they decided to find a way of educating the deaf in America.

Alice StatueDr. Cogswell invited ten influential friends to a meeting in his home. The group wanted to find a way to educate deaf children. They were also trying to think of ways of how to raise funds to send a qualified person to Europe to learn the methods of teaching the deaf.

This statue is at the fork of Asylum and Farmington Avenues in Hartford. The girl is, of course, Alice Cogswell. The fingers on the hands represent the ten men who supported Dr. Cogswell in starting the school.