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Howe, Samuel Gridley (10 November 1801–09 January 1876), educator of the handicapped and social reformer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Neals Howe, a prosperous maker of ropes and cordage, and Patty Gridley. During the War of 1812, Joseph Howe lost money by selling cordage to the federal government for which he received in payment useless treasury notes, leaving his family in straitened circumstances during Samuel Howe’s boyhood....

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Russ, John Dennison (01 September 1801–01 March 1881), educator of the blind, social reformer, and physician, was born in what is now Essex (then part of Ipswich), Essex County, Massachusetts, the son of Parker Russ, a physician, and Elizabeth Cogswell. He graduated from Yale College in 1823 and soon afterward went to Brunswick, Maine, where he studied medicine with Dr. John D. Wells, a member of the faculty of medicine at Bowdoin College (Russ did not enroll at Bowdoin, however). He studied further in Baltimore and Boston and in 1825 received the M.D. degree from Yale Medical School. During 1825 and 1826 Russ was in Europe where he served in several hospitals. After his return to the United States he practiced medicine in New York City....