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Gallaudet, Thomas (03 June 1822–27 August 1902), Episcopal minister to the deaf, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, educator of the deaf, and Sophia Fowler. Thomas Hopkins had founded the Connecticut Asylum, a school for the deaf in Hartford in 1817, and Sophia was one of its first graduates. They had little money but their work was well known and brought them into contact with the highest echelons of society. Growing up in these surroundings, Thomas early became interested in education for the deaf and particularly in communication through sign language....

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Schereschewsky, Samuel Isaac Joseph (06 May 1831–15 October 1906), Episcopal bishop and translator, was born in Tauroggen, Russian Lithuania, the son of Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky and Rosa Salvatha. His father was of the Ashkenazic and his mother of the Sephardic Jews. Both of his parents, about whom little is known, died when he was a boy, and he was raised by a half brother and his wife, who wanted him to become a rabbi. From about 1846 to 1850 he studied at the rabbinical schools at Krazi and Zhitomir, Russia. From 1852 to 1854 he studied at the University of Breslau, Germany. At Zhitomir and Breslau his interest in Christianity was aroused by missionaries of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, but it probably was his study of a Hebrew translation of the New Testament that convinced him that Jesus had fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament)....