Bridgman, Laura Dewey
- Kenneth Stuckey
Bridgman, Laura Dewey (21 December 1829–24 May 1889), first deaf-blind person to receive a formal academic education, was born near Etna, New Hampshire, the daughter of Daniel Bridgman and Harmony Downer. Her father, a substantial farmer and pillar of the Baptist church, served two sessions in the New Hampshire legislature. At age two, Laura and her two older sisters suffered an attack of scarlet fever. Her sisters died, and it was two years before Laura was able to sit up all day and three years until she regained her full strength. The illness left her without any sight or hearing and little sense of smell and taste. The speech she acquired before her illness was forgotten....