Helen Keller letter to her sister

Helen Keller letter to her sister

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: Helen Keller letter to her sister
Dates: 1889 October
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (1 portfolio)
Coll. Number: ms3669.TEMP

Biographical/Historical Note

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880. When she was only 19 months old, Helen Keller came down with an illness which left her both deaf and blind. At the time, it was diagnosed as brain fever, but it was most likely scarlet fever. Helen Keller struggled from infancy through childhood to understand the world around her.

In March of 1887, Helen Keller was approached by a young woman called Anne Sullivan who sought to help teach her. Anne Sullivan was a graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, who had regained sight through a series of operation. Helen Keller remembers this day that they met as, “the most important day I can remember in my life." Anne Sullivan was able to teach Helen Keller to spell words with her hand, to read raised print for blind readers, and to write.

Even though Helen Keller made a lot of progress through this home schooling, Anne Sullivan felt like it would be more beneficial for Helen to be with other children like her. Thus, in May of 1888, Sullivan brought Helen to the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. It was during her time at this school that Helen wrote the letter in this collection.

Throughout her life, Helen Keller devoted her energies to humanitarian pursuits, advocating for economic justice and the rights of women and of people with disabilities. She is held up as a symbol of hope for having overcome so many struggles in her own life. Helen Keller’s influence was great and her accomplishments won her worldwide respect.

Scope and Content Note

Collection consists of a letter that Helen Keller wrote to her younger sister, Mildred, from the Perkins School for the Blind in South Boston. In the letter, Helen Keller talks about her school and a birthday present that she is sending her sister. Keller was approximately nine years old when she wrote the letter.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

Helen Keller letter to her sister, MS 3669. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Letter, 1889 October [26?]