Gallaudet University handyman, was born to parents about whom nothing is known, perhaps in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. In 1870, when he was about nine years old, he wandered from the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children in Washington and was found on a cold winter night on the streets by Senator Aaron Cragin of New Hampshire. Cragin soon realized that the boy was deaf and took him to Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (later Gallaudet University). Compassion for blacks was not new for Senator Cragin; fifteen years earlier, in a 4 August 1856 speech he argued passionately in support of Charles Sumner of Massachusetts the Senate s leading opponent of slavery who had been beaten almost to death with a cane by Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina Cragin also knew that there was only one ...
slave narrative author, was born in Wake County, North Carolina, to Barney and Cherry, two slaves of the High family. Jones's 1883 slave narrative lists his first owner as “Olser Hye,” asserts that his father was “a desperate wicked man” and an alcoholic who died about 1820, and tells of how his “poor dear mother” who taught him to pray was “traded for a tract of land and sent to Alabama.” (1). Jones and three of his eleven siblings were raised in the large High household; he says little about his childhood other than noting that “I had hard struggling to get bread and clothes” and “after I was ten years old I knew nothing about going to church.” (6). When his master's daughter Emily High married planter Tignall Jones on 25 January 1825, Friday Jones seems to have been given to the new couple.
In about ...