Interestingly enough, although Sherrod was the company’s first “general agent,” after the Civil War he had a falling out with the APH Board and, soon enough, was in Washington lobbying Congress to create another body called the American Printing House for the Blind. Not very original, huh? This “double dipping” earned him heavy criticism from the leaders of the major schools of the day and by 1875 he was being described as a “bold, bad, blind man.” To this day, we are not entirely sure if Sherrod was an aggressive and confident blind visionary who was suppressed by the sighted leaders of the residential schools, or if he was a bit of a self-serving snake oil salesman. What is undisputed is that he lobbied several state legislatures to pass charters creating APH and is one of the key figures in our early development. Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture of Sherrod, and few of his papers. All we have of his writings are a few letters in the Archives at the Perkins School, and this report: “In 1857 I traveled through South-Western Mississippi, soliciting aid in our enterprise, and secured pledges to the amount of $12,035.25, to which, as you are aware, the Legislature added $2000, after our Board was incorporated. Previous to the incorporation of our Board, I had raised by collections, under an advisory committee, the sum of two thousand dollars for a specific purpose, viz: to publish an edition of Bullion's Analytical and Practical English Grammar, and Davie's Bourdon. On consultation, it was deemed advisable to reserve this fund, to be so used when the present contemplated Publishing House should be in practical operation, and this amount enters into the aggregate of total collections. As we had selected Louisville, Ky., as the most eligible location for an Institution of this kind, and that point was designated in the Charter, I accordingly visited Kentucky in the winter of 1857-'58, and succeeded in procuring its incorporation, under the name of the "American Printing House for the Blind."
Micheal A. Hudson
American Printing House for the Blind