Fredericton Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb
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1886-1901, 1971 (Creation)
- Fredericton Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb
5 cm textual record and 1 photograph : col. ; 9 x 12.5 cms
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The Fredericton Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb was opened on 1 September 1882 for the benefit of hearing and visually impaired (blind) persons living in New Brunswick. The institution was located in the residence of Senator Botsford at Hawthorne Hill, near the foot of Forest Hill, in Fredericton. Six students were immediately admitted to the school, and that number soon grew to 18. Eventually approximately 40 students were enrolled per term. Albert F. Woodbridge, a former teacher in the school for the deaf in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was named the Institution's first principal or superintendent. The school was funded by tuition payments, government aid, and voluntary contributions.
In 1883 the Institution was destroyed by fire, but the next year a new structure was built on the old site, which, in turn, fell victim to the flames in 1897. For the next five years, the school was located in Old Government House. A commission, headed by Jeremiah H. Barry, was established in 1902 to investigate the finances and administrative practices of the school. The commission reported that Principal Woodbridge had mixed his own finances with those of the school and that the Institution's debts were nearly double its assets. In addition, students testified before the commission that they had been physically and emotionally abused by teachers and administrators. In December 1902 Principal A. F. Woodbridge resigned his post, and soon after government officials closed the school's doors.
Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.
Scope and content
This fonds consists of a single bound volume of annual reports of the Fredericton Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, dating from 1886-1901. Reports are missing for the years 1884, 1889, and 1893. These annual reports give the names of managing committee members, officers, teachers, corresponding directors, subscribers, and parents, and provide information concerning funding and the students' progress. There are also reports prepared by the school superintendent and by the school physician.
A 1971 photograph of the Woodbridge House school building, on Woodbridge Street in Fredericton, is also included.
Immediate source of acquisition
The annual reports were transferred by Mary Flagg of the University of New Brunswick Archives and Special Collections Department to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick on 15 July 1980. Pat Forrest, of French Lake, N. B., donated the photograph in November 1996.
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An inventory is available.
The commission reports pertaining to incorporation and supervision of the institution are located in the Government Records Section (RS30 and RS522). Receipts and wages, 1891-1896 and household expenditures, 1885-1889 will be found in MC3327 G. Forbes Elliot collection. PANB holds records pertaining to the Deaf and Dumb Institute, in Saint John, N.B, in MC2628.