The New International Encyclopædia/Keller, Helen Adams
KELLER, Helen Adams (1880—). An American girl who became remarkable for the intellectual accomplishments which she acquired in spite of being deaf, dumb, and blind. She was born in Tuscumbia, Ala. On her father's side she is descended from Alexander Spottswood, a colonial Governor of Virginia, and is connected with the Lees and other old Soutliern families; while through her mother she is related to the New England families of Adams, Hale, and Everett. When she was nineteen months old she was attacked by scarlet fever, which left her without the senses of sight and hearing. Until her eighth year no serious attempt was made to educate her. She then was placed under the care of Miss Anna Sullivan, who had received her training at the Perkins Institution in Boston, and from that time her progress was remarkable. When she had learned to read and write and to use the finger alphabet, she determined that she would learn to speak. Miss Sarah Fuller, of the Horace Mann School in New York, was her teacher, and so rapid was her progress that in less than a month she was able to talk intelligibly. After studying for some years at the Wright-Humason School and at the Cambridge School, she entered Radcliffe College in 1900. Consult the autobiography, The Story of My Life, with a study by J. S. Macy (1903).