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Joseph Brown Smith, the first fully blind American college graduate, dies in Louisville, Kentucky

05/06/1859

Born in Dover, New Hampshire and totally blind soon after birth, Joseph Brown Smith gained an early education at an institution for the blind in Boston under Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe and then entered Harvard College at the age of seventeen in 1840. In 1844 he became the first blind person graduated from a four year college in the United States. He was almost immediately appointed Professor of Music at the Asylum for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky. There he married a blind woman and had two sighted sons but died after a lengthy illness in 1859, aged thirty-six. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

Edward Wheelwright, The Class of 1844, Harvard College, Fifty Years' After Graduation (Boston: J. Wilson and Son, 1896), 219-221.

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How to Cite This Page: "Joseph Brown Smith, the first fully blind American college graduate, dies in Louisville, Kentucky," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/22864.