The Story of My Life

Part II. Letters (1887–1901)

TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY

In February Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to Tuscumbia. They spent the rest of the spring reading and studying. In the summer they attended the meeting at Chautauqua of the American Association for the Promotion of the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, where Miss Sullivan read a paper on Helen Keller's education.

In the fall Helen and Miss Sullivan entered the Wright-Humason School in New York, which makes a specialty of lip-reading and voice-culture. The "singing lessons" were to strengthen her voice. She had taken a few piano lessons at the Perkins Institution. The experiment was interesting, but of course came to little.


...The school is very pleasant, and bless you! it is quite fashionable.... I study Arithmetic, English Literature and United States History as I did last winter. I also keep a diary. I enjoy my singing lessons with Dr. Humason more than I can say. I expect to take piano lessons sometime....

Last Saturday our kind teachers planned a delightful trip to Bedloe's Island to see Bartholdi's great statue of Liberty enlightening the world.... The ancient cannon, which look seaward, wear a very menacing expression; but I doubt if there is any unkindness in their rusty old hearts.

Liberty is a gigantic figure of a woman in Greek draperies, holding in her right hand a torch.... A spiral stairway leads from the base of this pedestal to the torch. We climbed up to the head which will hold forty persons, and viewed the scene on which Liberty gazes day and night, and O, how wonderful it was! We did not wonder that the great French artist thought the place worthy to be the home of his grand ideal. The glorious bay lay calm and beautiful in the October sunshine, and the ships came and went like idle dreams; those seaward going slowly disappeared like clouds that change from gold to gray; those homeward coming sped more quickly like birds that seek their mother's nest....

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