I came across an interesting article in the San Francisco Call the other day while searching for my husband's great-grandfather. Theodore Grady generated quite a lot of mentions in the newspapers during his lifetime because of his unusual status as a well-educated man with special needs. He was the first deaf-mute in the state of California to graduate from a college for the hearing (UC Berkeley), and the first deaf man to pass the California bar and work as an attorney.
This particular article really struck home because it highlights how far our society has come in dealing with people with special needs. Theodore Grady was only a side note in the story, which centered on his friend, the sculptor Douglas Tilden. Tilden came home late one evening, realized he had forgotten his key and let himself in by a window. A servant thought he had gone mad and called the police, who hauled him off. Justly incensed, Tilden was agitated, but because he was mute he couldn't explain himself. He was given a "quieting potion," and slept it off until his family came to get him the next day. The story ends with the dry comment: "There will be a change of help in the Tilden household."
You've just got to read it for yourself in all its glorious wordiness (here's the link if you want to see the original page):
My name is Kathleen, and I have been researching my family history since I was a child. I love to go into county courthouses and smell the old books and paper... or is it dust? This blog will focus on the stories I've heard over the years and the research methods I follow. I am particularly interested in data management and cloud genealogy.
Some of my personal areas of interest include Southern Maryland and DC (Robie, Rhodes, Grimes, Lindsey), NY state (Hill, Cookingham, Flynn, Rhodes, Skinner, Wheeler, Mead, Havens, Trotter), NJ (Parcell), North Carolina and Eastern TN (Lynch, Seabolt, Spears), MO (Wilcox, Kiddell), and CA (Simi, Grady)
I am always happy to compare notes or share my experiences, so please leave a comment!