Henry Winter Syle

Born to Episcopal Missionaries in China, Henry Winter Syle became deaf due to scarlet fever at the age of six in 1852. Henry inquired of Thomas Gallaudet, founder of St. Ann’s church for the Deaf in New York City, if he had the potential to become a Deaf Priest to which Gallaudet encouraged him to pursue.

Syle went on to study and receive degrees from Yale and Trinity College and was ordained as the first Deaf Episcopal Priest in the US in 1883. Indeed, he was most likely the first Deaf clergyman in the US. In 1888, Syle built All Soul’s Church for the Deaf in Philadelphia.

The work of Gallaudet and Syle are commemorated annually on the Episcopal calendar on the 27th of August.

I couldn’t find a lot about Syle online, but you can read a little more on the website for the Episcopal Church.

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