Epee, Charles Michel, Abbe de (1712-1789), a French philanthropist, born at Versailles. He was first educated for the Church, and then, owing to a difficulty about Jansenism, studied law for a time, returning afterwards to the Church. He invented a system of instruction of the deaf and dumb, and after some successful experiments upon two sisters he inaugurated in 1765 a school for carrying out his method. He gave his means and his best personal efforts to this service, and endeavoured in vain to get the matter admitted as a department of public expenditure. He left writings upon the deaf and dumb, and upon his own method of instruction.