The Deaf And Dumb, persons who have not the sense of hearing, and in consequence want the faculty of speech. The primary defect is deafness; dumbness follows from the resulting inability to control the vocal organs. Dumbness without deafness is very rare, and when not due to malformation is almost invariably a sign of idiocy. A person may be born deaf, or may lose his hearing by disease or accident; deafness is thus medically classed as congenital or adventitious. For educational purposes a different distinction is made. Those who become deaf at so early an age that they have not learned articulate language, or speedily lose all impress of it upon the mind, share the mental characteristics of the congenitally deaf, and are classed with them as true deaf mutes. Those who retain some knowledge of articulate language, acquired through the ear, are called semi.mutes. The distinction lies not in the power or practice of speech, but in the habit of thinking in words. - Deafness is more prevalent than is generally supposed. By the deaf and dumb are usually understood only those so deaf that the ordinary means of vocal communication are unavailable with them.

The number of these in a country has invariably proved to have been greatly under.estimated prior to careful enumerations; probably because deafness, unlike blindness, has no outward indication to attract notice. But affections of the ear producing a lower degree of deafness have received comparatively little attention; their extent is not appreciated even by physicians, except the few who make aural surgery a specialty. When noticed they are too often regarded as merely symptoms of more general disorders, and neglected until too late. The demands made upon the ear in ordinary life do not require such acuteness of perception as to render immediately sensible a diminution of its power; imperfect apprehension is often ascribed to mental rather than physical defects; and the decay of hearing in old age is regarded as natural and inevitable. Yet Von Troltsch says that in childhood earache and discharges are very common, and in middle life fully one third no longer hear perfectly and normally with one ear.

It is not known to what extent the "hard of hearing" have been enumerated with the "deaf and dumb" in censuses; but very few who lose their hearing after the age of ten come to the institutions for the deaf and dumb, whose registers are almost the only sources whence statistics of the causes and ages of deafness are derived. - Enumerations of the deaf and dumb are made in the decennial censuses of the United States and Great Britain, and have been taken in most of the countries of continental Europe at different dates. From the rest of the world no statistics have yet been procured. The data thus obtained in Europe and America give ground for the surmise that deafness is more prevalent in cold than in hot countries, and among the Caucasian than among other races. The following will serve as instances of the differences in the proportion of deaf mutes- to the total population:

COUNTRIES.

Date.

Proportion. 1 in

Switzerland: Aargau.................

1836

189

" Vaud................................

1886

1,112

Sardinia............................

1834

769

Norway..............................

1835

977

Sweden..............................

1840

1,528

Denmark.............................

1834

1,942

Holland...............................

1833

2.000

Belgium.............................

1835

2,226

Luxemburg...........................

1835

2,295

Prussia.............................

1849

1,364

France..............................

1853

1,212

Ireland.............................

1861

1,176

Scotland............................

,,'

1,311

Isles in British seas...............

,,

1,649

England.............................

,,

1,640

"....................

1871

1,971

United States.......................

1830

1.954

" " .........................

1840

2.123

" " .........................

1850

2,152

" " .........................

1860

2,276

" " .........................

1870

2,380

The true proportion, in the United States and Great Britain, is probably 1 in 2,000; the older estimates made it 1 in 1,600; and 1 in 1,500 may be taken as the average of the United States and Europe. Some of these discrepancies are doubtless due to the errors and omissions which have been detected in even the latest and most carefully taken censuses. Thus in 1870, out of 294 pupils in the Illinois institution, only 97 were enumerated. The two following tables show the numbers recorded in the United States census of 1870, and the proportions deduced thence; to which, for comparison, is added the number of pupils reported by the various institutions during the same year:

1870 Number Of The Deaf And Dumb In The United States And Territories

STATES.

Proportion, 1 in

Total.

Male.

Female.

White.

Colored.

Ofschoolage, 5 to 20.

At school.

Maine ...........

1786

851

186

165

851

125

59

New Hampshire..

1720

188

103

85

188

54

15

Vermont.........

1979

167

89

78

167

56

15

Massachusetts..

2238

656

376

280

651

5

313

198

Rhode Island.....

3061

71

47

24

* 69

2

28

5

Connecticut......

2431

221

117

104

217

4

84

53

New York.......

2447

1783

984

799

1768

15

748

613

New Jersey......

3921

277

145

182

268

9

119

50

Pennsylvania.....

2441

1433

777

656

1425

8

654

193

Delaware........

2049

61

34

27

54

7

15

7

Maryland.........

1845

884

229

155

811

73

198

88

Dist. of Columbia.

982

134

92

42

108

26

70

100

Virginia..........

2294

534

298

286

401

133

222

100

West Virginia..

2044

218

125

93

214

4

79

22

North Carolina....

1730

619

858

261

442

177

289

120

South Carolina ...

8328

212

118

94

122

90

103

27

Georgia..........

8632

826

168

158

287

89

155

57

Florida..........

8911

48

29

19

82

16

80

Alabama.........

2436

401

205

196

262

189

180

55

Mississippi.......

3469

245

145

100

134

111

99

Louisiana.........

3689

197

105

92

154

43

78

81

Texas............

8528

232

146

86

185

47

110

85

Kentucky........

1827

723

865

858

634

89

820

79

Tennessee........

2207

570

804

266

476

94

243

99

Missouri..........

2178

790

389

401

751

89

436

176

Arkansas ........

1828

265

142

123

286

29

182

86

Ohio.............

1987

1339

709

630

1323

16

658

848

Indiana..........

1927

872

467

405

865

7

468

246

Illinois...........

8049

838

484

349

823

10

417

298

Michigan.........

2602

455

258

197

454

1

207

147

Wisconsin........

2079

459

276

183

459

280

141

Iowa.............

2174

549

315

234

548

1

257

115

Minnesota........

2642

166

99

67

165

1

110

65

Nebraska........

2235

55

22

33

55

..

24

21

Kansas..........

3011

121

72

49

114

7

61

50

California.........

8973

141

79

62

189

2

97

59

Oregon..........

3953

23

13

10

22

1

11

..

Nevada..........

10622

4

2

2

4

. .

4

..

Dakota..........

3545

4

2

2

4

8

..

Montana..........

4119

5

1

4

4

1

2

..

Wyoming........

4559

2

2

1

1

1

..

Idaho............

14999

1

1

1

..

Colorado.........

9966

4

1

8

4

8

..

Utah............

4821

18

4

14

18

9

..

New Mexico......

1914

48

80

18

48

16

..

Washington.......

8992

6

3

8

5

1

4

..

Arizona..........

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

Total.........

2880

16205

8916

7289

14907

1298

7562

8713

1870 Ages Of The Deaf And Dumb In The United States And Territories

AGE.

Total.

Male.

Female.

White.

Col'd.

Indian.

Unknown........

55

21

84

54

1

...

Under 1.............

12

6

6

12

...

..

1-5.............

895

206

189

854

46

..

5-10............

2,051

1,168

888

1.891

187

..

10-15 ....................

8,087

1,684

1,408

2.820

246

2

15-20 .....................

2,560

1,406

1,154

2.418

165

1

20-80 ......................

8,211

1,810

1,401

2.999

252

..

80-40 ...............................

1,845

1,025

820

1,724

146

3

40-50 ......................

1,270

710

560

1,181

99

1

50-60 .....................

924

522

402

855

79

..

60-70..........

574

288

291

543

87

..

70-80 .......................

213

105

108

191

24

..

80-90 ...........................

47

18

29

48

4

..

90-100 .....................

9

2

7

6

8

..

100 and over...

2

2

2

..

Total.......

16,205

8,916

7,289

14,907

1,291

7

The numbers for England, the only ones yet received from the census of 1871, were kindly furnished by the registrar general through Dr. Buxton of Liverpool, in advance of publication, and are liable to slight changes. The decrease in 10 years, on the whole, and in every district but three, is remarkable; it amounts to 6.23 per cent., while the total population increased 13.15 per cent.

Number Of The Deaf And Dumb In Great Britain And Ireland

DISTRICTS.

1851.

1861.

1871.

England and Wales.

I.London.....

1,325

1,819

1,733

II.Southeastern.........

836

1,022

965

III.S.Midland...........

649

789

672

Iv. Eastern..........

669

729

635

V.Southwestern.........

1,295

1,321

1,097

VI. W. Midland..............

1,325

1,613

1,466

VII. N.Midland................

694

748

682

VIII. Northwestern............

1,237

1,582

1,677

IX. Yorkshire................

1,042

1,222

1,226

X.Northern.....

471

577

626

XI. Wales and Monmouthshire

771

814

739

Total England and Wales....

10,314

12,236

11,518

Scotland.........

2,155

2,335

returns not receiv'd

Ireland...........

4,747

4,930

Isles in British seas......

84

87

Grand total..............

17,300

19,688

....

In Europe congenital cases preponderate, in America adventitious cases, as is shown in the following comparison:

Congenital.

Adventitious.

Unknown.

Total.

4 British institutions

.. 3,288

912

.........

4,200

7 American "

.. 1,401

1,983

400

3,784

The following table shows the ages at which deafness occurred in 2,472 cases in the United States; and in 1,458 cases in Europe:

AGE.

United States.

Europe.

Under 1 year..........

485

140

Between 1 and 2 years..........

680

335

" 2 and 3 " ..................

448

295

" 3 and 4 " ..................

229

226

4 and 5 " ..................

196

125

" 5 and 6 " ..................

137

87

" 6 and 7 " ..................

98

91

" 7 and 8 " ..................

79

37

" 8 and 9 " ..................

32

20

" 9 and 10 " ..................

22

21

" 10 and 15 " ..................

41

50

" 15 and 21 " ..................

7

12

Total...................................

2,472

1,458