In honor of both Woman’s History Month and Deaf History Month here is some information about Laura Redden Searing a notable journalist and poet who faced the double difficulty in her profession of not only being deaf but being a woman as well.
Already a published essayist, columnist and poet, in 1860 Laura was sent to Washington, D.C. to cover the American Civil War for the St. Louis Republican reporting on troop and battlefield incursions as well as political news. Although she wrote under the pseudonym Howard Glyndon her real name was often credited as well. She was considered a friend of both President Lincoln and General Grant, both of who were thanked in her first publish book of poems, “Idylls of Battle” which included the following poem, “The Snow In October”
The snow is falling abroad,
Over meadow and moor;
Drifting silently, high and white,
O’er the sill of our cottage door.
It falls on a lonely grave
Lying away to the West,
Where a hero heart is mouldering away,—
The heart that loved me best
After the war she traveled Europe, studying languages and becoming a correspondent for many newspapers besides the Republican including the New York Times and the New York Sun and many magazines such as Harper’s Magazine all the while collecting information for the US Department of Agriculture. Upon returning to America she continued her literary endeavors as both a staff writer for the New York Evening Main and by publishing further volumes of poetry.
Laura Redden Searing will always be remembered for her numerous accomplishments and her unwillingness to let neither her gender nor her deafness prevent her from achieving what she wished to in life.