By: Ellie Swanson (11/04/2016)
Laura Redden Searing was a female deaf poet and journalist in the late 19th century into the early 20th century. She was born in 1839 and died in 1923 and became deaf at the age of 11. She attended the Missouri School for the Deaf because it was no longer possible for her to attend her previous school. When she graduated she was offered a teaching position at the school but declined in hopes of making writing her career. She was an editor and author for many newspapers and early in her writing career she began using the pen name Howard Glyndon. One interesting detail related to her pen name was that it was not a secret that her real name was Laura Redden Searing because she often wrote it directly underneath the pen name. This is interesting because it shows that she was trying to define social norms by letting her readers know that she was a female writer, but at the same time she was received well because the official name on her writings was male. During the American Civil War Laura was sent to Washington D.C. to cover the war and she came to know several high profile individuals. She later traveled Europe, and studied under Alexander Graham Bell, and displayed her support for the teaching of sign language and lip-reading through her writing for the rest of her career.
I chose Laura Redden Searing because she showed society that anyone can follow their dreams, even women and the Deaf community. She used her writing to support her own culture as well as the individual right to express your opinion freely. I believe that she is important to Deaf history because she showed society that it does not matter if you can hear or not in order to be successful and follow your dreams.