born Scottish (British)
Born at Caithness Shire, Scotland; deaf at an early age; student in the Edinburgh school for the deaf 1842-1849. At various times, was a sailor and a carpenter (the latter in Nova Scotia); emigrated to the United States in 1851, then to Nova Scotia in 1856. Asked to teach an 11-year old deaf girl, Mary Ann Fletcher, which he did; her request that he found a school for other deaf children led to him recruiting William Gray (q.v.) to become the school's teacher. Moved to Dartmouth, NS in 1873. In 1877, Tait discovered that his contributions to the Halifax school for the deaf had been completely erased and official credit given to William Gray. The debate over who really founded the school was voted on by a committee decision during a deaf convention in 1907, in favor of Gray.
Deaf Heritage in Canada, p.126-127; Deaf Lives, p.180-181; Notable Deaf Persons, p.33-35; The Frat, Dec. 1938, p.3.
1828-25 July 1904