Epee Charles Michel De L

Epee Charles Michel De L', born in Versailles November 25, 1712, was distinguished for his labors in behalf of the deaf and dumb. He entered into orders as a Roman Catholic priest, but, having been interdicted from the exercise of his functions, he devoted himself to the care of deaf mutes. Two young girls, mutes, had been under the care of father Vanin, at whose death L'Epee took charge of them. From this time his talents, time, and property were all consecrated to this cause. He framed a series of signs (the basis of the system now in use), and his success induced the due de Penthievre and others to aid him. He organized an asylum, which, after his death, was taken under the patronage of the French government, and placed under Sicard (q.v.), the worthy successor of L'Epee. He died at Paris December 23, 1789. ' His writings give full accounts of his method; among them are Institution des Sourds et des Muets, 1774, 12mo; enlarged edition, 1776, 12mo; and again improved, 1784, 12mo. See especially his Art d'enseigner a parler aux Sourds Muets, with notes by Sicard, and the eloge of L'Epee by M. Bebian (Paris, 1820, 8vo). — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Ggner. 30:829.

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