News Article: "A Sketch of the Life and Mark of Miss Caroline Greene"

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Title

News Article: "A Sketch of the Life and Mark of Miss Caroline Greene"

Catalog Entry

“The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart”- Helen Keller.

Helen Keller was a woman who was born both deaf and blind and who beat all odds society stacked against her. She learned to read, write, and communicate with others. However, if it weren’t for her teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, this would have been much more difficult. Closer to home in Fitchburg is a similar story of a teacher, Miss Caroline Greene, who gave all she could to help those who needed it become successful and independent and to build a strong bond and dedicate everything she could for her students. 

In the article about Caroline Greene, it discusses the bond she built with the students she taught in our own Fitchburg, MA. Her biography just like her skills in her profession was very remarkable. While Miss Greene lived her life in the city, she grew up able to receive a social income and educational advantages that the community at the time could afford until she reached the age of eighteen. Upon graduating college, Miss Greene went on to teach in a number of different districts and their neighboring schools.  

Between the years 1862 to 1863, she began her career as a physician. She started to take her love for others to different institutions such as the Perkins Institute for the Blind, which increased her resume of helping others.   Through her work there, Miss Greene was always seen as happy; her courage, self-forgetfulness, and unbounded faith proved to be a strong fit for her physician career. 

One skill that stood out in this article on her life, and her work throughout it, was how everytime she read to one of her classes, they became much more interested in the stories in the books. Due to the increase in interest,  she was able to frequently pick people who wanted to learn more to be escorted into Boston for lectures. These lectures allowed for opportunities for others to receive knowledge about what was being done for those with impairment of sight, and those who were found to have a disability who were sent to the institution to be educated in life skills and core classes. 

People didn’t quite understand it right away.  “What kind of book is printed without ink”  is often a phrase that is heard for those who do not quite understand what braille is and how it helps when it comes to learning for those with a sight impairment. However, it is not a basic skill like chewing or breathing; they need to learn braille, and most importantly they need strength to overcome and use their abilities for themselves and to help encourage others. 

During Miss Greene's career she moved to London as the only assistant to Dr. Campbell, eventually Sir Francis Campbell, and helped with the opening of his Royal Normal College for the Blind. Fortunately for her, being his only assistant is comparable to being his private secretary. During her time in London she started with about thirty children who needed guidance in reading, writing, and arithmetic and gave them special lessons. Miss Greene found ways and methods for children to learn and receive knowledge. In fact, there was a boy who had to be able to adapt to new ways to move around his environment. This artifact continues to show that those who have impairment with sight can have a companion who is able to help them through their disability.

Miss Greene was a part of Perkins Institute for the Blind just as Helen Keller, “a major 20th century humanitarian, educator and writer [who] advocated for the blind and for women’s suffrage and co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union" (Michals).Many similarities between the two shined through in Miss Greene. For example, she and Helen Keller saw disability as a form of strength. Helen Keller is a captivating character; she pushed through the stereotypes of disability and made achievements while having an impairment. This is all what Miss Caroline Greene stood for: inspiring her students to do the same.

Although Miss Caroline Greene also made an impact on the public, she was not made publicly famous because she was a small-town girl from Fitchburg. She was not internationally noticed for the work she has done throughout the community as most of us feel she should be. She never accepted any commandment for her selfless acts.  I believe that her goal was to help others learn and gain the self-confidence that they were not able to have then during the time she lived. 

Furthermore,  this artifact is important to think and write about since it gives awareness to those with and without visual impairment to enhance and grow their ability to be a unique individual person in society. Without a doubt, people with disabilities should be able to learn the same way others are. Many teachers such as Miss Caroline Greene are there to help those who need help to gain confidence and have a constant support system while learning. These qualities stuck out to me, which made picking Miss Caroline Greene for researching that much easier, not only did she teach children, but also she taught other teachers to have the faith and patience to teach children. This made me inspired to be a companion to others who need guidance through the course of their life.

This article should be exposed to a small town like Fitchburg as a major artifact to disability studies because it gives an understanding of Miss Caroline Greene's work with the public. It emphasizes the people who were visually impaired and how Miss Greene was the aide to their success in their learning. Miss Caroline Greene was able to put the pieces together and help children and teachers when it comes to a classroom. In the society those with and without a disability were focused on making them feel connected and part of the community. Even though Miss Caroline Greeene did not have a visual impairment herself, she was able to connect and relate in a number of ways that inspired her students.The idea of this artifact seems to show and help people understand the importance of being able to be a companion to those with or without disabilities.

Bibliography

Chinn, Sarah E. "Gender, Sex, and Disability from Helen Keller to Tiny Tim" Radical History Review. No. 94, 2006, pp. 240-248. Academic Search Ultimate, doi:10.1215/01636545-2006-94-240.

“Helen Keller's Life and Legacy.” Helen Keller International, www.hki.org/helen-kellers-life-and-legacy#.Xao9uehKjIU.

Michals, Debra. “Helen Keller.” National Women's History Museum, www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/helen-keller.

“Understanding Disability Tom Shakespeare," Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture, Apr. 2016, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p17-26. 10p.

Artifact Owner

Fitchburg Historical Society

Artifact Condition

This artifact is in a fair condition. It seems like it is an original copy. There are some blemishes in some areas but not much. On this artifact are markings, making it is hard to tell whether it is a copy or an original.

Artifact Material

Paper, Ink Writing

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Jessica Kuffour, Student, Fitchburg State University

Editor(s)

Miranda Gustin, Student, Fitchburg State University

Collection

Citation

“News Article: "A Sketch of the Life and Mark of Miss Caroline Greene",” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed February 4, 2023, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/83.

Output Formats

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