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Laura Redden Searing or How to Be a Deaf Journalist in the 19th Century

Being a woman journalist in the 19th century wasn't easy. Women's rights, status and opportunities were still severely limited. In the United States, Laura Redden Searing's native country, women's suffrage was not allowed until 1921. It must have been less easy for her to be deaf from the age of 11. However, all this did not stop her from becoming, even, a correspondent for the prestigious newspaper The New York Times.

Cover of the book about the deaf writer and poet Laura Redden Searing
Cover of the biographical book about Laura Redden

After becoming deaf, Laura was sent to the Missouri School for the Deaf. She had a great aptitude for writing, so at the age of 20 she was already working as a columnist for a St. Louis newspaper in Missouri. It was then that he began to use the pseudonym Howard Glyndon, a characteristically masculine name.

Plurilingual and in favour of Sign Language

At the end of the American Civil War (1865), Laura traveled to Europe to work as a correspondent for the New York Times for at least five years, where she learned French, German, Italian, and Spanish, although she spent most of her time in Italy. Laura had problems communicating in oral language, so she also learned Sign Language and even in some of the articles she advocated a bilingual education in Sign Language and oral language in all schools with deaf students.

With her pseudonym, Glyndon, they named a small town with a rail stop in Minnesota, probably the first time in the history of their country that a woman writer named a town.

She lived until the age of 84, but Laura was also a versatile writer until the end of her life: she also wrote poems, essays and other articles. Some of her poems can be read thanks to the Internet Archive:




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