Thomas Gallaudet intended to be a preacher of the gospel from a young age, but God intervened in a most unusual way. In 1814, after graduating from Andover Theological Seminary, he resided in Hartford, Connecticut. On May 25 of 1814 he observed nine year old Alice Cogswell watching other children play and not being included. He found out from her father that she was deaf due to a childhood illness when only two. At the time deafness was considered a mental illness – some even thought you were not needed or less than human.