Heinicke, Samuel

Heinicke, Samuel a German philanthropist, "the most distinguished of the early teachers of the deaf and dumb in Germany," was born April 10, 1729, at Nautzschütz, near Weissenfels, in Prussia, and died at Leipsic April 30, 1790. He passed his early life as a farmer and soldier, then pursued a course of study in the University of Jena, was subsequently for ten years a tutor: of the children of count Schimmelmann at Hamburg, and then removed to Eppendorf. In this latter place, as early as 1754, he became much interested in a deaf and dumb child, and devised a system of instruction for it, which proved so successful as to attract other deaf mutes to him for instruction, and led to the establishment by the elector of Saxony in 1772 of a school at Leipsic for the education of deaf mutes. This school, "the first ever established or supported by the civil government," was placed under Heinicke's charge, was continued after his death under the charge of his widow, and is still existing and prosperous. The "method of instruction was by articulation and reading on the lip," and is said to have been superior in some respects to that of the abbé de l'Epee. Heinicke's labors and noble character gained for him deservedly the affection of the German people, though his method of treatment of his pupils was probably too harsh, and some of his writings were marred by coarse and ill-natured criticisms of opinions differing from his own. He wrote upon the education of deaf mutes and theological- subjects, viz.: Biblische Geschichte des Alten Testaments zum Unterrichte taubstummer Personen (Hamburg. 1776, 8vo; only first part given): — Beobachtungen über Stumme und über die menschliche Sprache in Briefen (Hamb. 1778, 8vo): — Ueber die Denkart der Taubstummen und die Misshandlungen, denen sie durch unsinnige Kuren und Lehrarten ausgesetzt sind (Leipsic, 1780, 8vo): — Ueber alte und neue Lehrarten (Leipsic, 1783) — Wichtige Entdeckungen und Beitrdge zur Seelenlehre und zur menschlichen Sprache (Leipsic, 1784, 8vo): — Metaphysik fur Schulmeister und Plusmacher (Halle, 1785): — Ueber graue Vorurtheile und ihre Schaedlichkeit (Copenhagen and Leipsic, 1787): — Scheingötterei der Naturalisten, Deisten und Atheisten (Koethen, 1788): — Neues AB C, Sylben und Lesebuch nebst einer Aneisung, das Lesen in kurzer Zeit acf die leichteste Art und ohne Buchstabiren zu lernen (many editions, last Leipsic, 1790). Schlichtegroll assigns to Heinicke also a work on Kant's philosophical works, printed in German (Presburg, 1789, 8vo), but Meusel only the preface to it. Heinicke also wrote articles in thee Teutscher Merkur and Teutsches Museum, in which he maintained, against the views of the abbd de l'Epde, that deaf mutes should be taught not only to write, but also to speak. — New American Cyclopedia, 6:301; 9:59; Hoefer, Nouv. Biogr. Géneralé, 23, 786 sq.; Petschke, Historische Nachricht von dem Unterrichte der Tautbstummnen und Blinden (Leipsic, 1793); Schlichtegroll, Nekrolog (1790), p. 313-315; Meusel, Lexikon der von 1750 bis 1800 verstorbenen deutschen Schrijtsteller (Leipsic, 1802- 16). (J.W.M.)

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