Monday, May 07, 2007

Douglas Craig, the most beloved worker of Kendall Green: DH #5

Douglas Craig who was known as the most dedicated and loyal worker since he landed in Kendall Green as a young African-American deaf boy who became homeless after the Civil War. It was pretty interesting how he got to Kendall Green and seeing how much influence he made to the students of National Deaf Mute College. Marieta Joyner updated the research information about Douglas Craig at the Deaf History Conference at Gallaudet in 2007 that Barb DiGi was able to summarize it in her vLog. quicktime YouTube

There were previous research findings provided below that were written in 1970 by Oscar Guire and 1979 by A. Goodstein and M. Walworth that they created Gallaudet reading materials and reading exercise.

The quote and the picture was taken from Silent Worker. Please read David Evans' blog for reference.

Update: After discussing with David Evans on his blog, I decided to copy and paste so that you can see underlying historical findings.

Barb DiGi on 03 May 2007 at 10:05 am #

Hi David,

I am doing a vlog on this on next and there is a slightly different information about Douglas Craig. In your journal, it said that he was not deaf at that time when he was found by the Senator as he later contracted a disease causing deafness.

Now in my notes, it said that he could not speak or talk that prompted the Senator to transport him to Kendall Green which made sense for Douglas Craig to end up there. Theoritically, if he wasn’t deaf then why would he be brought there at the first place? Anywa,k I had to do some more research and came up with this link Douglas Craig by Goodstein and Walworth. So what do you think?

Also that he was about 7 or 8 years old when being discovered in the street and that after attending Kendall, he was about 14 years old when he started with his landscaping job.

David Evans on 03 May 2007 at 8:39 pm #

Hi Barb! It’s possible that he was already deaf when the Senator picked him up– I’m merely posting a summarization of what I typed at the time of each presentation, so it’s possible I made an error. I do remember Joyner saying that he became ill at some point– whether this caused his deafness or not, I may be wrong about that.

The link is interesting, but given that that book was published some time ago, and Joyner is currently conducting her dissertation research on Craig (which is why she presented her paper at the conference), I’d have to say that it’s very possible she’s turned up new or additional information.

As for Craig’s age, it’s my understanding that no one, including himself, knew exactly how old he was. I can’t remember the date now, but I recall Joyner saying that he chose a date and celebrated his birthday on that day, regardless of when his actual birthdate might have been.

Barb DiGi on 08 May 2007 at 2:51 pm #

Now do you have any information that Senator Harrison Craig was friends with Thomas H. Gallaudet or Edward M. Gallaudet?

How did the senator know about Kendall Green and based on which friendship did he form?

My notes said Thomas H. Gallaudet but someone challenged me in my blog that it was Edward. I thought he may be right because of the timeline that Thomas died before 1851 but it may be possible that the senator befriended him before Edward’s time. Can you help me verify? Thanks!

David Evans on 10 May 2007 at 3:00 am #

Barb, no I don’t. But in trying to answer your question, I came up with both an answer and a new question.

As to your original query, it was most likely EMG that he was friends with. D.C. was a rather small city back then, and the number of the elite was smaller than it is now. Additionally, EMG spent a fair amount of time up on Capitol Hill ensuring that funding would continue or increase, if possible. Also, EMG was members of exclusive clubs, such as the Cosmos Club, which gave him access to the wheelers and dealers in political and social circles.

However, I tried finding a Senator Harrison Craig, both online and off-line. I couldn’t find a U.S. Senator by that name; I *did* find an Andrew Harrison Cragin, who was Senator from New Hampshire at the right time period to have found Douglas Craig. I’m now wondering what the original source is for the information on who found Douglas Craig, and if maybe the information has been misinterpreted over the years…?


DeafMom3 said...

Barb, Thank you for your excellent presentation! I enjoyed it so much. I'm gut-feeling my Deaf grandmother knew him since she was Gallaudet student between 1930 - 1936. She had no money to go home (Missouri) for the holidays and stayed on the Campus for the whole 5 years. She worked some odd jobs between the breaks & holidays. It makes me wishing that I could chat with my Grandmother once more.

Hope to see more of you sharing the history of Deaf people with us.
- Kim Symansky

P.S. Yup, we once had fun times together at Gally around 1985's. It's always good to see our friends on the DeafRead.

Anonymous said...

I think you have some of your facts wrong. It was Senator Aaron Harrison Cragin that first brought Douglas Craig to the Columbia Institution. And since he was born in 1821 and THG died in 1851, it's more likely that Senator Cragin was friends with EMG rather than his father.

Jean Boutcher said...

Thanks for sharing. Wonder if you are offering a summer course on Deaf History at Gallaudet? If so, please let me know. Deaf History was not offered during my days in 1977, unfortunately.

Barb DiGi said...

Barb DiGi said...
Hi Kim! How fun to bump into each other in the blogosphere. Glad you had enjoyed my vlog as I do yours.

Anonymous, I am getting what I saw from the presentation as Marieta Joyner identified the senator as Harrison Craig so don't kill the messenger! I just jot down what I had seen from the presentation and even made further attempts to include photos and other references.

It may be possible that you are right but on the other hand, it may be possible that Senator Harrison Craig befriended Thomas H. Gallaudet before Kendall Green existed. Since you said that Harrison Craig was born in 1821, it won't be possible that he gets to be a senator until after the age 30 so that would be when Thomas H. Gallaudet died. So I most likely agree then :-)

Hi Jean..I haven't really considered much about teaching Deaf History in the summer since I tend to teach summer school and take a break. I hope that vlogging some of deaf history information is the best replacement and it is free :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is an interesting story. Maybe you or someone should write a story about Douglas Craig. Nevertheless, your storytelling in the vlog entertained me very well as if I was watching a short, documentary tv program. Thank you for sharing it with us.
-- Shawn R.

mule4350 said...

Another Interesting History as I admired Black Deaf History and I like to know more info. about them and it was nice for Sentator Harrison got him then his future was bright and funny.
I know Canada Govt stop to invite all black ppl long time ago anyway I imganie that USA had slave history and Canada alkway watch over them. Now it is over for slave and now it is civil right as well.

mochame said...

Another Amazing Stories! I love to hear more treasure of trove stories about DEAF cultures, histories, etc. Thank for sharing with us. I would love to share my ancestral history but not related to deaf cultures.