Two excerpts from Oliver Caswell's journal written March, 1844 in square hand when he was a teenager. Part of a recently processed collection titled Students with Deafblindness at Perkins School for the Blind.
The images below contain two entries about Oliver's experience with guns, shopping for knives, his fondness for pudding, and his amusement at how handkerchief is a long word. The journal contains no distinct beginning or end to entries and no punctuation, for example: "I want eat much pudding and butter and molasses I love pudding very much and drink fresh water."
Oliver Caswell (c.1830-1896) was a student of the Perkins Institution alongside Laura Bridgman, who helped educate him under the direction of Dr. Howe. He grew up with his family in Rhode Island. He arrived at Perkins Institution in 1841 and was among the first students who were deafblind. At the age of twelve he began his education at school and he learned the manual alphabet, and how to write and read. He had a talent for woodworking and building, and this was thought to be a future profession for him. Oliver Caswell died in 1896 at the age of sixty. For more information please see: Perkins Annual Report, 1842.
Entry about guns and knives, Oliver Caswell's journal, March 1844.
Transcription: guns yeterday boy has guns we did see marco we did walk we did go to john cook will make soup today boys and ladies and men and girls all will eat soup dinner I did take stones throw fall on ground I not want stone James did give me stones I have stones I did take stones throw fall we will buy new knife I will see knife we ride in wagon horse I will be happy glad to see knives
I did turn with wheel and press squeeze paper
Entry about fondness for pudding, and how handkerchief is a large word, Oliver Caswell's journal, March 1844.
Transcription: print papers make books my right hand warm and left warm wight and Coolidge drink coffee cup full they are very silly u don’t gymnastics I want eat much pudding and butter and molasses I love pudding very much and drink fresh water I and James do not walk rain did fall wet I and James will go to walk tomorrow rain do not fall not did eat all [hdkf] not did eat all handkerchief long large word u have handkerchief [hdkf] is