Sarah Fuller

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Sarah Fuller
Sarah Fuller by James Wallace Black c1860s.jpg
Fuller circa 1860's.
Photo by James Wallace Black
Born(1836-02-15)February 15, 1836
DiedAugust 1, 1927(1927-08-01) (aged 91)
Parent(s)Havey Fuller, Celynda Fiske

Sarah Fuller (February 15, 1836 – August 1, 1927) was an American educator.


She was born in Weston, Massachusetts to Harvey and Celynda (Fiske) Fuller, and was educated at Allan English and Classical School, located in West Newton. After graduating in 1855, she taught in Newton and Boston. In 1869, she trained at the Clarke School for the Deaf under Harriet B. Rogers, then became principal at the newly formed Boston School for Deaf-Mutes; a school founded on the behest of Rev. Dexter S. King. In 1871, the school staff was trained in the skill of teaching deaf children how to speak by Alexander Graham Bell. Sarah became an advocate of this practice, as well as the promotion of education for deaf children starting at the earliest age possible. She was also present when the first message was sent over the telephone.

In 1890, Fuller applied the methods she learned and developed from Bell in giving the first speech lessons to Helen Keller.[1]

In 1888, she published An Illustrated Primer for teachers of the deaf. She helped found the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf in 1890, and became director of that association in 1896. She founded the Home for Little Deaf Children in 1902, and retired as a principal in 1910. Sarah died in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts, and is buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery. She was a poetic writer.


The Sarah Fuller Foundation for Little Deaf Children (1888-1972) was named after her.


Further reading[edit]

  • Ohles, John F. (1978). Biographical Dictionary of American Educators. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8371-9893-3.
  • McHenry, Robert (1983 * Wilma Fuller Zepp). Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-24523-3. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  • Staff (2005). Children's Hospital Boston. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-3746-2.
  • "Sarah Fuller". Find a Grave Memorial. November 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-18.