Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787 - 1851) was a Congregational minister, who helped his neighbour’s young deaf daughter, Alice Cogswell. In 1815, he travelled to Europe to study methods of education for the deaf.
In England, Abbe Roche Ambroise Sicard (he successor to Abbé de l'Épée) invited him to his school for deaf in Paris.
After several months in Paris, Gallaudet returned to the United States with Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher. They founded the American school for the deaf in 1817.