This volume contains original writing by deaf people from the first half of the nineteenth century, a period of transformation for deaf Americans that saw the rise of deaf education and the coalescence of the nation's deaf community. It begins with works by Laurent Clerc, the deaf Frenchman who came to the United States in 1816 to help found the first permanent school for deaf students in the nation. Other deaf writers included here James Nack, a deaf poet who surprised readers with his mellifluous verse; John Burnet, who published a book of original essays, fiction, and poetry; Edmund Booth, a frontiersman and journalist; John Carlin, who galvanized the drive for a national college for deaf people; Laura Redden, a high-achieving student who would go on to become an accomplished reporter; and Adele Jewel, a homeless deaf woman living in Michigan. The final section offers a mix of speeches and correspondence on significant events, such as the founding of the first National College for the Deaf in 1864. Taken,together, this remarkable collection provides a direct glimpse into the lives of deaf Americans during this time of change.