Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Betterm

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Betterm

Postby admin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:14 am

Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Betterment
Battle Creek, Michigan
January 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1914
published by the Race Betterment Foundation
edited by the secretary [Miss Emily F. Robbins]
Battle Creek, Mich., Gage Printing Company, ltd., 1914



To be a good animal is the first requisite success in life, and to be a Nation of good animals is the first condition of prosperity."

-- Herbert Spencer.

Table of Contents: [PDF HERE]

Purpose of the Conference
Central Committee
A Partial List of Organizations Represented
Local Cooperating- Organizations
Addresses of Welcome—
Dr. J. H. Kellogg
Hon. John W. Bailey

PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS The Basic Principles of Race Betterment
President Stephen Smith, M.D.


The Significance of a Declining Death Rate
Frederick L. Hoffman

The Causes of the Declining Birth Rate
Prof. J. McKeen Cattell

The Need of Thorough Birth Registration for Race Betterment
Dr. Cressy L. Wilbur

Differential Fecundity
Prof. Walter F. Willcox


The Importance of Frequent and Thorough Medical Examinations of the Well
Dr. Victor C. Vaughan

Euthenics and Its Founder
Mrs. Melvil Dewey

The Relation of Physical Education to Race Betterment (Abstract of address)
Dr. D. A. Sargent

Apparent Increase m Degenerative Diseases
Elmer E. Rittenhouse


Prof. Maynard M. Metcalf (Race Degeneration)

Some Suggestions for a More Rational Solution of the Tuberculosis Problem in the United States
Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf


Prof. Robert James Sprague (Women's Work in the Open Air)

The Prevention of Arteriosclerosis
Dr. Louis Faugeres Bishop

Hookworm Disease
Dr. Lillian South

Disease and Its Prevention
Dr. Guilford H. Sumner

Function of the Dentist in Race Betterment
C. N. Johnson, D.D.S

Unbiological Habits
Dean William W. Hastings

The Increase of Insanity
Dr. James T. Searcy


Prof. Walter P. Willcox

Deterioration of The Civilized Woman
Dr. Richard Root Smith

Old Age
President Smith

Acting Chairman Rev. Charles C. Creegan


The Effect of Alcohol on Longevity
Arthur Hunter

Alcohol— What Shall We Do About It?
Dr. Henry Smith Williams


Dr. Amanda D. Holcomb (The Sacrifice of Boys and Girls)

Daniel A. Poling (The Worst Dry Town vs. The Best Wet Town)

Pres. E. G. Lancaster (Proportionate State Consumption of Alcohol)

Edward Bunnell Phelps (Caution in Use of Statistics)

Dr. Charles G. Pease (Expedients in Violation of Principle)

Dr. Henry Smith Williams (The Rising Tide of Alcohol Consumption)

Prof. Robert James Sprague (Licensing Light Drinks)

Mrs. J. L. Higgins (The "Booze Special")

George B. Peak (The Saloon and the Tax-Payer)

Mrs. Maud Glassner (A "High Class" Saloon)

Melvil Dewey (A League of Publishers)

Dr. Edith B. Lowry (Soothing Syrups and Alcohol Craving)

Dr. James T. Searcy (Prohibition and Drug Consumption )

Frederick L. Hoffman (International Committee on Liquor)

Mrs. Charles Kimball and Elizabeth Hewes Tilton (Alcohol Posters)

Tobacco A Race Poison
Dr. Daniel Lichty


Miss Lucy Page Gaston (The Cigarette)

Dr. Amanda D. Holcomb (The Cigarette-Smoking Hero of Fiction)

S. S. McClure (Magazine Advertising of Tobacco)

Melvil Dewey (A League of Employers)

Dr. Charles G. Pease (The Non-Smokers' Protective League of America)


The Bad Boy
Hon. Jacob A. Riis

The. Delinquent Child
Judge Ben B. Lindsey

The Dependent Child
Dr. Gertrude E. Hall

Education for Parenthood
Dr. Lydia A . DeVilbiss

Better Babies
Robbins Gilman


Edward Bminell Phelps (Baby Saving)

Dr. E. G. Lancaster (Adolescence)

Dr. Miller (The American Institute of Child Life)


Public Repression of the Social Evil
Graham Taylor


Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf (Scattering Prostitution)

Graham Taylor (Vice and Mental Defect)

Dr. James T. Searcy (Race Degenerates)

Dr. S, Adolphus Knopf ("Waverly House")

Dr. Charles G. Pease (The Florence Crittenton Mission)

Miss Lucy Page Gaston (Prostitution and the Cigarette)

Dr. Luther H. Gulick (The Girl Who Goes Right)

Prof. Samuel Dickie (The Single Standard)

Dr. Amanda D. Holcomb (The Boy's Temptations)

Dr. Luther H. Gulick (Real Meaning of the Double Standard)

Mrs. D. W. Haydock (Educating the Child)

Mrs. F. F. Lawrence (The American Mother)

Prof. Robert James Sprague (Vocational Education)

H. A. Burgess (Use of Newspapers)

The Social Evil (A special address to women)
Dr. J. H. Kellogg

Venereal Disease (A special address to men)
F. O. Clements

A Man's Problem (A special address to women)
Dr. J. N. Hurty

A Woman's Problem (A special address to women)
Dr. Carolyn Geisel

The Relation of Education in Sex to Race Betterment
Dr. Winfield Scott Hall


Some Changing Conceptions of School Hygiene
Dr. Ernest Bryant Hoag

The Race Betterment Movement in Women's Colleges
Dr. Carolyn Geisel


Mrs. Melvil Dewey (College Courses in Euthenics)

Factory Degeneration
Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis

Industrial Welfare
F. O. Clements


Function of Individual, City, State and Nation in Race Betterment
Sir Horace Plunkett
Miss M. E. Bingeman

Community Hygiene, with Special Reference to Meat Inspection
Rev. Caroline Bartlett Crane

The National Department of Health
President Stephen Smith (Introductory Remarks)
Dr. Henry Baird Favill

What the United States Public Health Service is Doing for Race Betterment
Dr. H. W. Austin

The Cost of High Living as a Factor in Race Degeneracy and Limitation of Families
Dr. J. N. Hurty

S. S. McClure


Prof. Richard T. Ely (The Government of a German City)

Byron W. Holt (High Cost of Living)

Hastings H. Hart

The Negro Race
Booker T. Washington


Hastings H. Hart (Sanitary Kitchens)

The Social Program
Dr. Luther H. Gulick
Mrs. Luther H. Gulick
Dr. Luther H. Gulick


Needed— A New Human Race
Dr. J. H. Kellogg

The Importance to the State of Eugenic Investigation
Dr. C. B. Davenport

Relation of Eugenics and Euthenics to Race Betterment
Prof. Maynard M. Metcalf

The Psychological Limit of Eugenics
Prof. Herbert Adolphus Miller


Dr. G. B. Davenport (Relative Effects of Heredity and Environment)

The Importance of Hygiene for Eugenics
Prof. Irving Fisher

The Methods of Race Regeneration
Dr. C. W. Saleeby

Calculations on the Working Out of a Proposed Program of Sterilization
H. H. Laughlin

The Relation of Philanthropy and Medicine to Race Betterment
Prof. Leon J. Cole

The Health Certificate— A Safeguard Against Vicious Selection in Marriage
The Very Reverend Walter Taylor Sumner


Mrs. Maud Glassner (Health Certificates in Michigan )

Marriage Selection
Prof. Roswell II. Johnson

Some Efficient Causes of Crime
Prof. R. B. von KleinSmid

Race Betterment and Our Immigration Laws
Prof. Robert DeC. Ward

Race Betterment and America's Oriental Problem
Prof. Sidney L. Gulick


Prof. Herbert Adulphus Miller (Immigrant Classification by Mother-Tongue)

Prof. Maynard M. Metcalf (Immigration)

Dr. Luther H. Gulick (The Socially Assimilated )

Constructive Suggestions for Race Betterment— Summarized


Report of the Secretary

Exhibits and Moving Pictures

Through a Child's Eyes
Dr. Anna Louise Strong

Physical and Mental Perfection Contests

I. School Children
Report of Contest
Dean Wm. W. Hastings
Award of Prizes
Mayor Bailey

II. Babies
Report of Contest
Dr. Walter F. Martin
Award of Prizes
Mayor Bailey


To assemble evidence as to the extent to which degenerative tendencies are actively at work in America, and to promote agencies for Race Betterment.


Stephen Smith, A. M., LL.D., M.D., Vice-President State Board of Charities, New York, N. Y.

Honorary Presidents

Judge Ben B. Lindsey, LL.D., Juvenile Court, Denver, Colorado.
Hon. Woodbridge N. Ferris. LL.D., Governor of Michigan, Lansing, Mich.
Right Hon. Sir Horace Plunkett, K.C.V.O., F.R.S., Ex-Minister of Agriculture for Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.


Irving Fisher, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy, Yale University, New Haven. Conn.
Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis, A.M.. D.D., L.H.D., Pastor Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.
J. N. Hurty, M.D., Commissioner of Health, State of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Hon. Robert L. Owen, A.M., LL.D., U. S. Senator from Oklahoma, Washington, D. C.

Executive Committee

Irving Fisher, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis, A.M., D.D., L.H.D., Pastor Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.
J. H. Kellogg, LL.D., M.D., Supt. Battle Creek Sanitarium, Member Michigan State Board of Health, Battle Creek, Mich.
Right Hon. Sir Horace Plunkett, K.C.V.O., F.R.S., Ex-Minister of Agriculture for Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
Jacob A. Riis, Henry Street Settlement, New York

Acting Chairman

Reverend Charles C. Creegan, D.D., President Fargo College, Fargo, N. D.


Miss Emily F. Robbins, New York, N. Y.

Central Committee

C. B. DAVENPORT. A.M., PH.D., Director of the Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution, Cold Spring Harbor, N. Y.
VICTOR C. VAUGHAN. LL.D,. M.D., Pres. Elect American Medical Association, President Michigan State Board of Health, Ann Arbor, Mich.
J. N. McCORMACK, LL.D., M.D., Secretary State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
CHARLES W. ELIOT, A.M., LL.D.. Ph.D., President Emeritus. Harvrd University. Cambridge, Mass.
GIFFORD PINCHOT, A.M., LL.D., Conservationist, Washington, D. C.
HARVEY W. WILEY LL.D., M.D., Director Bureau of Foods, Sanitation and Health, ''Good Housekeeping" Magazine," Washington, D. C.
HON. JACOB A. RIIS, Henry Street Settlement, New York, N. Y.
S. ADOLPHUS KNOPF, M.D. Professor Phthisio-Therapy, Post Graduate Medical School and Hospital, New York, N. Y.
W. A. EVANS, M.S., LL.D., M.D., D.P.H., Medical Editor Chicago "Tribune," Professor of Hygiene, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois.
D. A. SARGENT, A.M., M.D., S..D, Director of Hemenway Gymnasium, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
VERY REVERENT WALTER TAYLOR SUMNER D.D., Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Chicago, Illinois.
HON. CHARLES E. TOWNSEND, United States Senator from Michigan, Washington, D. C.
HON. MORRIS SHEPPARD, LL.B., LL.M.. United States Senator from Texas, Washington, D. C.
OSCAR H. ROGERS, M.D.. Medical Director New York Life Insurance Company. New York, N. Y.
WINFIELD S. HALL, M.S., A.M., Ph.D.. M.D., Professor of Physiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.
R. L. DIXON, M.D., Secretary Michigan State Board of Health, Lansing, Mich.
MRS. MELVIL DEWEY, Honorary Chairman, Institution Economics, American Home Economics Association, Lake Placid, N. Y.
MRS. ELLA FLAGG YOUNG, LL.D.. Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools, Chicago. Illinois.
R. TAIT McKENZIE, A.M., M.D., Professor Physical Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
JOHN M. COULTER, A.M., Ph.D.. Professor Botany, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
S. S. McCLURE, A.M., L.H.D.. President. The McClure Company, New York.
ERNEST B. HOAG, A.M., M.D., Leland Stanford University, California.
FRANK E. BRUNER, Ph.D., M.D., Board of Education, Chicago, Ill.
HENRY SMITH WILLIAMS, LL.D.. M.D., Writer, New York, N. Y.
GRAHAM TAYLOR, President Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, Chicago, Ill.
HON JOHN W. BAILEY, LL.B.. Mayor, Battle Creek, Mich.
J. H. KELLOGG, LL.D., M.D., Supt. Battle Creek Sanitarium. Member Michigan State Board of Health, Battle Creek, Mich.
REVEREND CHARLES C. CREEGAN, D.D.. President Fargo College, Fargo, N.D.



Austin, Dr. H. W., Representative U. S. Health Service, Detroit, Mich.
Bishop, Dr. Louis F., Fordham University.
Bernstein, Dr. Charles, Custodial Asylum, Rome, N. Y.
Carbaugh, Dr. Harriett M., Health Officer Orange Township, Portland, Mich.
Carstens, Dr. J. H., Chief Gynecologists, Harper Hospital, Detroit, Mich.
Davenport, Dr. C. B., Director Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N. Y.
DeVilbiss, Dr. Lydia Allen, Woman's Home Companion, New York, N. Y.
Dewey, Melvil, President Lake Placid Club, Lake Placid, N. Y.
Emerick, Dr. E. J.. Supt. Institution for Feeble-Minded, Columbus, Ohio.
Favill, Dr. Henry B.. Prof. Clinical Medicine, Rusch Medical Collegec Chicago, Illinois.
Green, Dr. Frederick R., Secretary American Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois.
Geisel, Dr. Carolyn, Shorter College, Rome, Ga.
Gulick, Dr. Luther H., Pres. Camp Fire Girls, New York, N. Y.
Gulick, Dr. Sidney L., Author, Missionary, Kyoto, Japan.
Hall, Dr. Gertrude E., State Board of Charities, Albany, N. Y.
Hall, Dr. Winfield S., Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.
Hurty, Dr. J. N., Commissioner of Health, Indianapolis, Ind.
Knopf, Dr. S. Adolphus, New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital, New York, N. Y.
Kennedy, Dr. J. B., Detroit, Mich.
Lichty, Dr. Daniel, City Hospital, Rockford, Ill.
Northrup, Dr. Wm., Anti-Tuberculosis Society, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Paulson, Dr. and Mrs. David, Hinsdale Sanitarium, Hinsdale, Ill.
Robinson, Dr. Wm. J., Chief Visiting Surgeon, Bronx Hospital, New York, N. Y.
Sargent, Dr. D. A., Director, Hemenway Gymnasium, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Searcy, Dr. J. T., Superintendent, Alabama Insane Hospital, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Sherman, Dr. G. H., Mich. St. and Wayne Co. Medical Societies, Detroit, Michigan.
Smith, Dr. Stephen, Vice-President State Board of Charities, New York, N. Y.
Smith, Dr. Richard Root, Surgeon, Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Strong, Dr. Anna Louise, National Child Welfare Exhibition Com., New York, N. Y.
Sumner, Dr. Guilford H., State Board of Health, Des Moines, Ia.
South, Dr. Lillian B., State Bacteriologist of Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ky.
Vaughan, Dr. Victor C, President American Medical Association and of State Board of Health, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Warthin, Dr. Alfred Scott, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Weeks, Dr. David Fairchild, Skillman, N. J

College Representatives

Cole. Prof. Leon J., University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
Coulter, Prof. John M., University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Creegan, Rev. C. C, President, Fargo University, Fargo, N. D.
Dickie. Sam'l, LL.D., President, Albion College, Albion, Mich.
Ely, Prof. Richard T., University of Wisconsin. Madison, Wis.
Gilbert, Prof. Arthwell W., Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.
Grover, Prof. Frederick O., Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
Johnson, Prof. Roswell Hill. University of Pittsburgh. Pa.
Johnson, Alexander. Director, Training School, Vineland, N. J.
Lancaster, E. G., President Olivet College, Olivet, Mich.
Keeler. Prof. Fred L.. Superintendent, Dept. of Public Instruction, Lansing, Michigan.
MacDonald, Miss Gertrude L., Supt. Maine Industrial School for Girls, Hollowell, Maine.
Metcalf, Prof. Maynard M., Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
Miller, Prof. Herbert A., Olivet College, Olivet. Mich.
Reighard, Prof. Jacob, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ritchie. Prof. John W.. College of William and Mary, Williamsburgh, Va.
Stagg, Prof. A.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Washington, Prof. Booker T., Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama.
Willcox, Prof. Walter F., Cornell University. Ithaca, N. Y.

Social Workers

Bussell, Beulah, Anti-Tuberculosis Society. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Bussell, Nellie Eileen, Sec. Anti-Tuberculosis Society, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Dilley, Cora B., Chicago Boys Club Farm, Paw Paw. Mich.
Gaston, Lucy Page, Anti-Cigarette League. Chicago, Ill.
Gilman, Robbins, Head Worker, University Settlement Society. New York City.
Hart, Hastings H., LL.D., Russell Sage Foundation, New York City.
Holt, Byron W., Committee of 100 on National Health, New York City.
Kimball, Mrs., Alcohol Poster Committee, Boston, Mass.
Laughlin, H. H., Superintendent Eugenics Record Office, Cold Spring Harbor, N. Y.
Lindsey, Judge Ben B., Juvenile Court, Denver, Colo.
McDowell, Miss, University Settlement, Chicago, Ill.
McCullock, Gen. J. E., Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tenn.
Riis. Jacob. Henry Street Settlement, New York City.
Taylor. Graham. President Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, Chicago.
Van Hartzveldt, Miss, Anti-Tuberculosis Society, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Von KleinSmid, Prof. R. B., Indiana Reformatory, Jeffersonville. Ind.
Walton, Miss Carol F., Secretary Michigan State Association, Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Witter, John H., Supt. Boys Club, Chicago

Women's Clubs

Glassner. Mrs. Maud, State Federation Women's Clubs. Nashville, Mich.
Haydock, Miss. D. W., Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs. St. Louis, Mo.
Roenigh, Marion Chase, Michigan State Federation of Women's Clubs, Greenville, Mich.


Rowe, C. L., Traveling Secretary Y. M. C. A., Jackson, Michigan.


Cattell, Prof. J. McK.. Editor Popular Science Monthly, Garrison. N. Y.
Dingley, Edward M.. Editor Progressive Herald, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Evans, Dr. W. A., Health Editor Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill.
Johnson, Dr. C. M., Editor Dental Review, Chicago, Ill.
McClure. S. S., McClure's Magazine, New York City.
Popenoe, Paul B., Editor. Journal of Heredity, Washington, D. C.
Spencer, George B., The Outlook, New York.
Henry Smith Williams, Author, New York City.
Phelps, Edward Bunnell, Editor, American Underwriter, New York City.
Payne, Kenneth W., Newspaper Enterprise Association, Chicago, Ill.


Beardslee, Rev. John W., Holland, Mich.
Bishop, Rev. Edwin W., Pastor Park Church, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Crane, Rev. Carolyn Bartlett, Crane Building, Kalamazoo. Mich.
Glass. Rev. D. H., Owosso, Mich.
Hillis, Rev. Newell Dwight, Pastor Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Sumner, The Very Reverend Walter Taylor, Dean, Episcopal Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Chicago, Ill.
Hinzman, Rev. W. T., Tipton, Mich.
Siebert, Rev. John A., Adrian, Mich.


Hunter, Arthur W., New York Life Insurance Co., New York City.
Hoffman, Frederick L., Statistician Prudential Life Ins. Co., Newark, N. Y.


Leiter, Frances Waite, National W. C. T. U., Health Dept., Mansfield, O.


Bigelow, M. Edna, Representative American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.
Bingemann, Miss M. E., Board of Education, Rochester, N. Y.
Pathe Freres Representative, Wm. J. Helm, Jr., 1 Congress St., Jersey City, New Jersey.
Ritchie, John W., Williamsburg, Va.
Sprague, Prof. Robert J.. Massachusetts Agricultural College, Amherst, Mass.
Thorne, Hazel, Eugenics Field Worker, Lapeer, Mich.
Wilbur, Dr. Cressy L., Chief Statistician, Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Census, Washington, D. C.

Ryan, Desalee, School Supervisor, Battle Creek, Mich.
Coburn, W. G., Principal Battle Creek Schools, Battle Creek, Mich.
Clements, F. O., Representative National Cash Register Co., Dayton, Ohio.
Gillette, C. P., Director State Agricultural College, Ft. Collins, Colo.
Reid, Dr. Chas. E., Surgeon, Culver Military Academy, Culver, Ind.

Local Co-operating Organizations

Battle Creek Ministers' Association.
Calhoun County Medical Society.
Battle Creek Dental Society.
Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce.
Battle Creek Board of Education.
Normal School of Physical Education
Battle Creek Sanitarium and Hospital Training School.
Nurses' Alumni Association of the Battle Creek Sanitarium and Hospital Training School.
Battle Creek Sanitarium School of Home Economics.
Young Men's Christian Association.
Young Women's Christian Association.
Charitable Union.
Woman's Club.
Woman's League
The Ladies' Aid Societies of Nine Churches of Battle Creek.
Woman's Society of the Congregational Church.
Dorcas Society.
Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Sanitarium Women's Christian Temperance Union.

Banquet in honor of Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, president American Medical Association, during Conference on Race Betterment
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Re: Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Bet

Postby admin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:17 am

J. H. Kellogg, LL.D., M.D., Superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Michigan.

I feel it an honor, as well as a great privilege, to extend to you in behalf of the Board of Trustees of this Institution a most cordial welcome to this Conference, the first of its kind to be held. And I wish to tell you that if you esteem it a privilege to gather here for the discussion of great questions which concern the welfare of the race, you are most of all indebted to our greatly esteemed friend, the eminent Doctor Hillis, of Plymouth Church, for it was he w^ho last summer suggested to me and to other members of the Central Committee the idea of this Conference. I said to him in reply, "But, is it possible to bring to this small town the busy men who are giving serious thought to altruistic questions of this sort?"

"Certainly it is," said he, "and I'll help do it."

Professor Irving Fisher happened to be here at the time, and when consulted, he said, "By all means, let us have the Conference," and he also promised to help. Both of these men, who are individually doing such splendid things for the uplift of their fellows, have helped so efficiently that the program which is in your hands has been arranged and the Race Betterment Conference is launched.

It is not expected that this Conference will be great in numbers. Those who attend come by special invitation, and as indicated by the names of speakers shown on the program, are representative thinkers and leaders in various lines of work which have for their aim the advancement of human welfare.

From the start it has been most gratifying to note the unanimous interest shown in the great purposes of this Conference. Practically every person who has been asked to take part in the program has readily consented to do so unless prevented by some previous engagement. The questions which will be discussed here are the greatest problems which face the world today. They are not merely questions of sect or section, finance or politics : they are race questions, biologic questions, whose roots run back to the very childhood of the race and whose branches cast their shadow over every phase of human life.

The real purpose of the Conference is not to formulate conclusions nor to propagate doctrines, but simply to raise in a more definite way certain questions of world-wide significance which have in recent years been more or less casually discussed, and to set in operation methods of inquiry which it is hoped may lead to a disclosure of facts of tremendous importance. If the race is degenerating, it is highly important that the world should know it and that such agencies should be set in operation as will save the race of man from the common fate of all other living forms as told and foretold by the geologic records of the earth's crust.

The Conference is to be congratulated in having for its Central Committee and Executive Officers a body of men eminently qualified to give expert guidance to the studies and discussions which may be opened up, and to protect us and the public from the evils of sensationalism on the one hand, and the dangers of preconceived opinions and conventional blindness on the other.

We are all to be congratulated that we have with us as the President of this first Conference on Race Betterment, our young and greatly beloved and honored friend, Dr. Stephen Smith, whose whole life has been devoted to the very objects of this Conference, and who at the age of ninety-two years—thanks to Eugenics and Euthenics —is still one of the most active men engaged in the service of the great State of New York.

After seventy years of public service, fifty years as State Commissioner of Charities, Doctor Smith is still active as ever. As President of the Tree Planting Association he is transforming the desert wastes of New York City into pleasant groves and parks. After waiting two average life-times for Doctor Smith to show some symptoms of old age, the people of New York have finally become convinced that he is endowed with eternal youth, and possesses the vitality of his beloved elms and oaks, and so have recently commissioned him for another six years' term as Vice-President of the State Board of Charities, a Board which carries a heavier load of responsibility for human life and happiness than any other like body of men on earth. We hope he will unfold to us and to the world the secret of his perennial youth land vitality. His example and his presence here are a proof and promise of the possibility of race betterment.
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Re: Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Bet

Postby admin » Sun May 20, 2018 7:18 am

Hon. John W. Bailey, LL.B., Mayor of Battle Creek, Michigan.

After this exceedingly appropriate address and welcome by Doctor Kellogg, it is somewhat embarrassing and quite unnecessary for me to make any remarks of the nature in which the Doctor has indicated, but I assure you that even though it may seem unnecessary, it is a great pleasure for me —in behalf of the thirty thousand citizens of Battle Creek—to welcome to our city these honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, who have left their work and their homes and their fields of usefulness to come here to take part in this first great Conference on Race Betterment. We are very glad indeed to welcome this Conference to the best town in Michigan, and, when I say that, I may welcome you to the best town in the best state in the best country on earth. Nature has done a great deal for our city, located as it is in the fertile valley of two streams, surrounded by beautiful lakes and having a beautiful climate. Everything that vegetation and foliage can do for it has been done. The citizens have done much to improve the natural advantages which they found here. We have many great factories of which we are all very proud. We are very proud of our school system, very proud of our churches, of our societies and of our people. It is our claim here that we have the most cosmopolitan people in the whole world. We are not very poor, not very rich, but we are all able to make a living and enjoy ourselves. We have one thing which above all others we are the most proud of, and that is this great Sanitarium. This institution and its managers have for the last forty or fifty years been laboring day and night, in order that they may do good to their fellow-men ; in order that this race, our brothers and sisters, may be improved. And we who live here know well how successfully they have labored. We are exceedingly proud that this institution has been able to bring to Battle Creek the distinction of having the very first Race Betterment Conference.

If I understand it correctly, it is the object of this Conference to work together, exchange ideas in order that there may be some definite understanding as to what is best for the great mass of the people of this world, and to give those ideas to the great masses of people who cannot possibly be here and who cannot possibly know very much about these things, and thus to inaugurate reforms. Many people in the past have been at work exerting their great energies to the betterment of the trees and flowers, and to the betterment of animals, but there has not been that great concerted effort for the betterment of the human race that we find in other fields. It is to these honored gentlemen who come here for this Conference that we must look for a start in this most practical and most important of all subjects. I sincerely hope that the work of this Conference may be such as to lay the foundation for future Conferences, so that this work may go onward and upward for all generations, in order that the boy and girl of the distant future may look back upon a father and upon a mother and upon a pedigree reaching back into many generations, every line of which represents good, strongmen and good, strong women, well-educated men and well-educated women —men and women who have used their bodies and their minds for the best interests of the race in order that their descendants may properly represent the image of their Creator.

We wish for this Conference every possible success. I know we shall all be proud of its results. It is not necessary for me to say a word in introducing the President of this Conference. Doctor Kellogg has said briefly and better than I could possibly say it all that is necessary. I will simply say this, that from the appearance of Doctor Smith, he represents the idea that he is bringing to us. He comes of a long-lived family, a family whose ancestry has given to him the inheritance which has enabled him to do the great work which he has done, and to come here at the age of ninety-two, full of life, full of strength, full of hope and full of a desire to lift up and glorify the human race.

I take great pleasure in introducing to this Conference, Dr. Stephen Smith, its President.
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Re: Proceedings of the first National Conference on Race Bet

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Stephen Smith, M.D., LL.D., President of the Conference; Vice-President New York State Board of Charities, New York City.

Mr. Mayor, Members of the Conference, Ladies and Gentlemen:— An ancient symbol of the genius of Medicine represented a female figure sitting with downcast eyes and a finger on her closed lips, signifying that the proper position of the physician is one of silence and meditation. That symbol illustrates the mental attitude which I should prefer to assume in this Conference. But, as with many of the more responsible duties in my experience, it was not for me to determine the position I was to occupy in the Conference, and I have humbly accepted the decision of the Central Committee, only too thankful that I was deemed worthy of an invitation to become a member.

I enter upon the duties assigned me with a full appreciation of the honor which the Presidency of this Conference confers
and inspired by the desire to render it an open forum for the initiation, discussion and determination of the kind, quality and employment of the agencies for the promotion of race betterment.


It is fitting, on establishing a new organization, to define its objects and explain its methods. As officially announced, the objects of the Conference are two-fold, as follows:

1. To assemble evidence as to the extent to which degenerative tendencies are actively at work in America, and,

2. To promote agencies for race betterment.

Giving to the word "degenerative" its ordinary meaning — a loss or impairment of the qualities peculiar to the race—our inquiry and research includes every matter or thing which in any wise, nearly or remotely, affects unfavorably the normal physical development and functional activity of any member of the race.

The second object of the Conference —To promote agencies for race betterment—opens a world-wide field for observation, research and practice, for these agencies are innumerable. The term "Race" includes the "Human Family," "Human Beings as a Class," "Mankind." "Betterment" means improvement in its broadest and largest sense.

Reducing these objects as stated to a practical standard, the outlook upon the human race from the view-point of this Conference recognizes two features in its developments:

1. The tendency to degenerate;

2. The capacity to regenerate.

In our estimation of the tendency of the race to degenerate we must carefully distinguish between an inherent tendency or predisposition to degeneracy under any and all conditions, and a susceptibility to degeneracy under certain favoring conditions. All experience proves, and science confirms experience, that degeneracy of the race is not due to any structural peculiarities of the individual other than the normal susceptibility to impressions, which may be greater in one person than in another, owing to heredity. On this account, environment, or the conditions under which an individual lives, is a most important determining factor in our estimation of race degeneracy and race regeneracy.

On the very threshold of his existence man is confronted with conditions which powerfully tend to degeneracy. All animal and vegetable life appears alien to this planet and has to struggle for existence amid hostile forces which beset it on every hand.
What vast quantities of germinal matter the bountiful hand of nature supplies to every form of life to perpetuate "its kind" and yet scarcely one germ in a million lives. In summer the fields and forests are strewn with waste germs.

Man himself is only one of the thirty-thousand possible sons and daughters with which his parents were endowed. His birth is a successful incident; his first breath is an accident; his nourishment is by the grace of another. If he survive the perils of infancy and reach maturity, innumerable evils—physical and mental—sickness, imbecility, insanity, crime, death—assail him at every stage of progress as if they were his inheritance.

Endowed for a vigorous, healthy life of a hundred years, man suffers from every form of disease and lives but a moiety of his predestined longevity. Of the children born, what large percentage never see their first anniversary birthday! What other large percentage dies under five years! Few comparatively reach the age of ten years; at twenty the generation has dwindled to an insignificant minority and at forty-five it disappears altogether. But three in a thousand reach the normal period of human life—one hundred years.

But while the evidences of a tendency of the race to degenerate are apparent to common observation in every period of human history, there is an obverse of this sad picture of the most hopeful and inspiring character. The same impressionable peculiarity of his nervous centres which tends to make him yield to degenerative influences may be relied upon by skilled treatment to promote and effect his regeneration. Estimating man's inherent mental capacity by his achievements in the past, we can place no limit upon the possibilities of his betterment. Consider how he has subdued the hostile forces of the earth and made them subservient to his comfort and his well-being! Though the most unprotected of animals, he excels all others in his means of defense; he lays the entire world under contribution for his food supply and reduces his foods to the most digestible and assimilable forms; if he loses a limb, or a tooth, or an eye, another immediately supplies its place, quite as serviceable and often more ornamental; the lightning as his messenger annihilates time and space, and while it transports him also supplies him with heat and light. Thus on all sides he is capable of warding off danger, decay and death and demonstrates his ability to exercise dominion "over all the Earth."

These facts suggest the question of the ages, "What is the ultimate purpose of human life on this Earth?" And it is very desirable that we have a working hypothesis that will be most useful in selecting and promoting agencies for the betterment of the race. There can be no more helpful and hopeful answer to that question than the following last utterance of the great scientist, Alfred Russell Wallace:

"This earth with its infinitude of life and beauty and mystery, and the universe in the midst of which we are placed, with its overwhelming immensities of suns and nebulae, of light and motion, are as they are, firstly, for the development of life culminating in man; secondly, as a vast schoolhouse for the education of the human race in preparation for the enduring spiritual life to which it is destined."

What higher conception can we have of the world in which we live than that it is a "vast schoolhouse for the education of the human race," and what more pointed lesson can be taught as to the conduct of our own lives and our duties to the race than that this life is "in preparation for the enduring spiritual life to which it is destined?"


To appreciate fully the great service which this Conference will render to humanity, if it establish the principles of race betterment on the immutable basis of science, we need to consider for a moment the past and present unscientific and inefficient methods of betterment of the degenerates of the race. Looking backward we learn that man has usually been regarded as an unknown entity, a mysterious combination of the animal, the satanic and the divine, the two former attributes being usually the most conspicuous. Efforts to benefit him were limited to improving his personal appearance, supplying evident wants, and punishment of criminal acts. The result was that neither the individual nor the race was made permanently better by the remedies employed. The diagnosis was based on false premises and the remedial measures were useless or harmful.

No one personally familiar with the management of the charitable, reformatory, eleemosynary and other institutions for the degenerate classes can doubt that we signally fail to accomplish the objects of their creation —the betterment of their inmates. "We mass these unfortunates together under one name, and make one prescription for the lot that has not the merit of several ingredients. Too often the insane of every form and grade, curable and incurable, are crowded into asylums, where their individuality is merged in the seething mass; the criminals, young and old, thieves, highwaymen, adulterers, murderers, crowd the prisons, without the slightest effort or even pretense on the part of officials to individualize them and employ suitable measures to render them capable of self-care, possibly of self-support, and certainly to insure humane treatment.

The experience of a generation in official visitation and supervision of the charitable, reformatory and eleemosynary institutions of the State of New York has deeply impressed me with the conviction that our efforts to benefit the vast population in public and private care, idiots, feeble-minded, insane, criminals, deaf, blind, epileptic, vagrants —is in a primitive stage of development. The institutions for their care and treatment are becoming less and less curative and more and more custodial. The result is the gathering and support at public expense of an immense population of more or less able-bodied men and women who on account of their various ailments, physical and mental, are allowed to pass their lives to old age in complete idleness. No sadder sight awaits the visitor to these institutions than groups of such people, well-fed and clothed, sitting in idleness in and around the buildings on a bright summer day and in view of farm lands largely cultivated by paid laborers.

One is reminded of Carlyle's picturesque Tourist's description of the Workhouse of St. Ives on a bright autumn day. He says, "I saw sitting on wooden benches, in front of their Bastille and within their ring wall and its railings, some half hundred or more of these men, tall, robust figures, mostly young or of middle age, of honest countenance, many of them thoughtful and even intelligent-looking men. They sat there near by one another; but in a kind of torpor, especially in silence, which was very striking. In silence; for alas, what word was to be said? An Earth all lying around crying, Come and till me; come and reap me;—yet we here sit enchanted! In the eyes and brows of these men hung the gloomiest expression, not of anger, but of grief and shame and manifold inarticulate distress and weariness; they returned my glance and with a glance that seemed to say, 'Do not look at us. We sit enchanted here, we know not why. The Sun shines and the Earth calls; and by the governing powers and impotence of England, we are forbidden to obey. It is impossible, they tell us. There was something that reminded me of Dante's hell in the look of all this; and I rode swiftly away."

Many of these institutions could place on the lintel of their entrance door the famous motto, "Who enters here leaves hope behind." An eminent physician, disappointed at the few discharged from these charities, compared with the large number admitted, characterized them as ''Great Hospitals of Lethargy." It has recently been remarked by an eminent statesman and acute observer, Sir Horace Plunkett, that, "rightly or wrongly, it is generally felt that the service which science renders in the cultivation and preservation of our health lags far behind its marvelous achievements in the region of the industries and arts." This statement is eminently true when applied to our efforts to improve the mental and moral condition of the degenerate class. Ignorance of man's physical constitution has unfavorably influenced every effort for his betterment and still is the greatest obstacle to success in our treatment of the defective and dependent classes. Though we live in the noon-day effulgence of the sciences of biology and physiology, their light illumines only the upper atmosphere, and does not penetrate the dense gloom which envelops the degenerate of our race.

Unscientific and scientific methods

There is no better illustration than that furnished by medical art of the disastrous influence of ignorance of man's intimate physical nature upon efforts to relieve his disabilities, and the power of scientific knowledge of these essential facts to apply with precision the exact remedy required to give relief.

In the days of ignorance "the mysteries of physic" was a term in common use by the profession. Diagnosis was merely guesswork and therapeutics was grossly empirical. Diseases of organs were treated in the mass as a single affection. "Lung disease," "heart disease," "liver disease" were common terms, each now known to cover a multitude of ailments, but unknown to the practiser of that time because he was ignorant of the minute structure of the organs and of the consequent great variety of affections to which each organ was liable. In the treatment of the diseases of an organ, the physician made but one prescription, and for any new symptom which might appear he added another drug, until the single prescription sometimes contained ten or a dozen different remedies. This was the famous "shot-gun" prescription, which was "sure to kill something." Possibly this incident explains the familiar story of the old physician who said that when he began practice he had ten remedies for one disease, but in later life he had one remedy for ten diseases.

The great revolution in medical practice came when Virchow, the German medical scientist, revealed the fact that the ultimate elements of man's physical organism are a commonwealth of infinitesimal bodies known as cells; that every organ is a wonderful mechanism adapted to its special function by the multiplication and arrangement of its cells numbering thousands of millions in a single organ; that each cell-unit has its own special function, its own diseases, its own symptoms and requires its own special remedies.

It is quite impossible for one who was not a contemporary with this discovery to appreciate its remarkable influence on medicine as an art. The scales fell from the eyes of the practiser, and where previously he had known imperfectly but two or three diseases of an organ, as of the heart and lungs, he now recognized scores, each with well-defined symptoms, and each requiring a special remedy. The entire field of medical practice was revolutionized; diagnosis became exact; treatment precise; the saving of life enormous. Evidently, the basic principles of medical practice are: (1) Exact knowledge of the structure and functions of the organ affected; (2) the nature of the diseases to which it is liable; (3) the symptoms peculiar to each disease. With this knowledge the medical practiser no longer masses diseases and gives a multiple dose, but carefully discriminates between the symptoms, determines the single disease and its progress, and then administers the appropriate remedy and secures the desired results.


But there is a hopeful future dawning for all classes of delinquents, degenerates, and deficients, however handicapped by heredity, environment, accident or disease. The science of biology and of physiology, which reveals to medical art the minute structure and function of the ultimate elements of the vital organs and thus makes it exact in practice to the great saving of human life, is penetrating further and further into the hitherto mysterious mass of apparently homogeneous matter, the brain, and astonishing the world with its wonderful revelations. Here it has found the very springs of human existence —the centers of consciousness, thought, action —the home of the soul, the Ego, the man.

In these discoveries we find the basic principles of race betterment. The adage is still true, that it is "the mind that makes the man," and all our efforts to improve the individual and through him the race must center in the normal development and physiological action of the ultimate elements of the brain, the organ of the mind. Every effort we make to improve man's physical condition should be subordinate to its effect on the brain. A recent writer says, ''Whatever elevates the physiological above the psychological, the body above the mind, is an enemy of the race and no method for its regeneration." Henceforth, all our efforts to better his condition should be based on an intimate knowledge of the brain, admittedly the organ through which that mysterious entity, the mind, finds expression.

In order to obtain a more thorough understanding of the subject matter of this paper, especially by lay members, it will be necessary to explain in a familiar way some features of the structure and functions of the elements of the brain.


Reduced to its simplest form and expression, the ultimate element or unit of the brain is a cell which with its nerve is now called a "neurone." This infinitesimal body is recognized by scientists as the source of all mental phenomena —thought, word, act. In efforts to express their estimation of brain-cells in the relation which they bear to the mentality of the individual, the most eminent physiologists of our time have used the following emphatic terms: One states that "the cell is a unified organ; a self-contained living being;" a second regards it as "the sole active principle in every vital function;" a third asserts that it is "the medium of sensation, will and thought, the highest of the psychic functions;" a fourth says, "As are his neurones (brain cells) so is the man."

Recently, Ernest Haeckel, the German scientist and philosopher, has made the following contribution to the cell theory, "We have now ascertained in the clearest, most indisputable manner that all which we term the 'soul' is in a scientific sense nothing more than the total effect or function of the 'Soul Cells of the numerous neurones in the brain'."

Though the cell is so "extraordinarily complicated that its essential constitution eludes our observation," its general structure and more important features are well known.
The following facts in regard to it have been recorded by physiologists: A cell is "an individuated mass of protoplasm, generally of microscopic size, with or without a nucleus and a wall." Protoplasm is an albuminoid substance capable of manifesting vital phenomena, as motion, sensation, assimilation, reproduction; the least particle of this substance, a single cell, may be observed to go through the whole cycle of vital functions; it builds up every vegetable and animal fabric; it is the physical basis of life of all plants and animals.

The protoplasm of the brain cells is so extremely sensitive that by proper instruments a change can be detected in its substance when a cloud passes over the sun; also a thermometer will detect a rise of its temperature during any great mental effort; and, again, delicate scales will weigh the amount of blood which rushes to the excited brain cells for their nutrition when a person in a recumbent position has sudden mental excitement.

The cells, estimated to be upwards of two thousand millions in the human brain, are implanted before birth in a rudimentary form and undergo an evolution from the cell of the lowest animal life to the complex cell of the human brain. Though at birth the cell has been perfected, so far as regards its structural adaptation to its special future function, yet it will remain in an inert state and undergo no further change or development until excited to activity. Each cell has its own special function to perform and hence has its own special stimulant; the cells of the auditory center are stimulated by sound, those of the ophthalmic center by light, those of the olfactory center by odors.

Physiologists believe that in the human brain there are large numbers of nerve-cells that remain undeveloped because never excited to functional activity, and also that at any period of life, cells hitherto inert may receive their proper stimulus and become active. They assert that if to the born-blind there is no world of light, and to the born-deaf there is no world of sound, may it not be a fact that worlds exist around us other than those revealed by the five special senses; worlds which we do not recognize because the special nerve centers for that purpose have not as yet been stimulated to activity? St. Paul hints at that opinion when he declares that spiritual truths cannot be discerned except the spiritual (cells) sense has been awakened and Haeckel now asserts that the soul is the output of the functional activity of "Soul Cells." Along the same line of conjecture may we not suggest that many strange mental phenomena —dreams, telepathy —hypnotism—find their proper explanation.

Cells, like other tissues, are constantly undergoing change in the act of nutrition and owing to their extreme susceptibility to impressions, their functions are easily disturbed by the food we eat, the fluids we drink, the condition of our digestion, in addition to the infinite number of impressions which they daily receive from causes internal and external to the body. For this reason our mental moods are constantly changing; we are not the same this year that we were last year, this month that we were last month, this evening that we were this morning. It follows that any change in the constitution or structure of the cell must be attended by a derangement of its function that would find expression in the mental acts of the individual. If a group of cells should from any cause cease to act, the mental attributes which they manifest, when acting normally, must cease. Equally, if the same cells are overstimulated, their functional activity is correspondingly increased. Or, again, if the properties of the cells are changed, as by alcoholic intoxication, or by any other toxic agent which finds access to the brain and for which any cells have an affinity, the normal function as expression would be changed to the extent that the affected bodies contribute to the mentality and personality of the individual and in the particular feature involved therein.

The wise Diotama said to Socrates most truly (Symposium of Plato): "In the same individual there is succession and not absolute unity; a man is called the same, but yet in the short interval which elapses between youth and age ... he is undergoing a perpetual process of loss and reparation. . . . And this is true not only of the body but also of the soul, whose habits, tempers, opinions, desires, pleasures, pains, fears never remain the same in any one of us, but are always coming and going."

Physiology teaches that these cells endow all forms of animal existence with that degree of intelligence necessary to their personal welfare in the sphere in which they live—man, cosmopolitan in his habits, standing at the head with two thousand millions as his requirement; and the animalcule, fixed in its place, with few to meet its simple wants. It follows that these cells, so far as they exist and are brought into functional activity, constitute the personality of the individual, the "ego," whether of man or animal.

And wherever these cells are found, whether in the brain of man or beast, fish or fowl, insect or creeping thing, they only await the skill, the cunning, the patience of the expert educator or animal trainer to show the world an idiot working at his trade, a horse responsive to every word or gesture of his keeper, a dog going on an errand by command of his master whom he does not see and always selecting the right article, a learned pig solving arithmetical problems, seals performing difficult stunts, ants learned in military tactics, fleas expert in social functions.

The perfect brain must be one in which all of its cells have their full and normal functional development. But the degree of development depends upon so many conditions personal to the individual that it is doubtful if a perfect human brain ever did or ever will exist on this planet. In every community, and often in the family, we recognize vast differences in the mental development of individuals, though they seem to be living under precisely the same conditions. But underlying, or interwoven in, these external and recognized similar conditions are undiscovered incidents that account for the differences so apparent.

Traced to its true source it will be found that the want of opportunity to apply the greater number and variety of stimulants to the brain through the special senses —seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling—accounts for much of what we call degeneracy. The farm laborer toiling alone has none of the intelligence and vivacity in conversation, of the village tailor, cobbler or blacksmith, though equally endowed mentally. The farmer has few brain stimulants, while the latter are abundantly supplied through constant contact with customers. A schoolboy rated as deficient saw an older scholar sketch a horse on the schoolroom door; he was so profoundly impressed by the picture (that is, his art nerve-centers were so stimulated) that he devoted himself constantly to sketching and became the most distinguished portrait painter of his time. Sir Isaac Newton states that he "stood very low in his class" but the sight of a falling apple aroused dormant brain cells which revealed to the world the law of gravitation and made him forever famous. History is replete with incidents of the sudden awakening of hitherto unstimulated brain cells of persons accounted defectives. Can we, therefore, wisely and justly determine the mental capacity of any living being, man or animal, until we have given the opportunity for development. But however handicapped by heredity or disease, or environment, science teaches with unerring certainty that, unless their organic properties are destroyed by accident or disease, cells promptly respond to such curative measures as are adapted to relieve them of their disabilities.

I may seem to have dwelt on these scientific facts with too much minuteness and, perhaps, repetition, but as they are the basic principles upon which all future progress in the improvement of the so-called defective classes must rest, and as they are obscure to a layman, I have been impressed with the importance of discussing them more fully at this first session of the Conference on Race Betterment.

The most interesting and practical feature of these cells evidently is the absolute control that we may exercise over their functions. They enlarge and become active when we stimulate them, and atrophy and become passive when we withhold stimulants. As each cell, or group of cells, has its own special function to perform, we can select the group that will accomplish the object we have in view, and stimulate it to the degree necessary to reach the desired result. Or we may reduce an active group of cells to their rudimentary state of quiescence by withholding its proper stimulant.


Reduced to its simplest expression the question that confronts us is, How can we secure to each individual of the race a normal development of brain cells? Applying these basic principles to the betterment of the race, two methods of procedure naturally occur to the scientific student. First is prevention, or the adoption of such measures as will prevent the birth of degenerates; and, second, an effort to improve the condition of existing degenerates.

Two methods of preventing the propagation of degenerates are practiced; viz., (1) Sterilization, and (2) segregation of the sexes.
These methods are efficient means of preventing the increase of those who submit to the test. But however effective sterilization and segregation may be in arresting the increase of degenerates, they are methods which must necessarily have limited application. The great problem before this Conference and all workers in the field of philanthropy is the betterment of the defectives as we find them in every grade of society.

If we adopt the basic principles of race betterment as herein set forth, that problem may be stated as follows: How can we make the brain of the defective most useful to its possessor? Considering the remarkable sensitiveness of the nerve cells of the brain to impressions both within and without the body, it is evident that the measures which may be employed to arouse the cells to activity and restore their normal functional capacity are innumerable, and their effectiveness will depend upon the intelligence, patience and perseverance of the responsible caretaker.


The first efforts in this country to teach the idiot strikingly illustrate the preceding statement of the basic principles of race betterment. More than a half century ago Dr. Harvey B. Wilbur reduced the theories of science to practice and demonstrated their truth. I was witness of his experimental work on idiots and feeble-minded, and it is interesting to note that it is founded on the modern teaching of physiology in regard to the structure and function of the brain cells. His explanation of his method was to the effect that the idiot had a dormant nervous system, and the first step in his education must be to arouse the brain to activity; that the best method of making a first impression was through the sense of feeling; that the shock communicated by a metallic substance through the sensitive surface of the hand was the most effective. His argument was logical. In practice he placed the idiot-child on the floor and laid a dumb-bell by his side, fixing the child's hand on the shaft. Standing in front of his pupil, the doctor deliberately struck the boy's dumb-bell with a dumb-bell in his own hand. The first trial was on a boy whose idiocy was so profound that he scarcely noticed anything. The clash of the metals startled the boy so that he involuntarily removed his hand from the dumb-bell. This was the first trial, as he had just been received. The doctor pronounced him a promising pupil, as his nervous system was sensitive to impressions.

Three other pupils under training were tested, each showing improvement in proportion to the length of time of teaching; the first of these raised his eyes and was excited as the Doctor's dumb-bell descended; the second removed his hand before the dumb-bell was struck, and laughed; the third imitated the Doctor in the use of the dumbbell.

Doctor Wilbur explained that this method of arousing a dormant brain (unconsciously referring to the cells) had this advantage, that he stimulated at once three of the five special senses —feeling, seeing, hearing. If we could trace the far-reaching connections of the cells of the special centers with other centers higher in the brain and leading up to the great centers of ideation, we should have seen hundreds of thousands of inert and hitherto dormant cells awakened to activity and the performance of their proper function.


The treatment of the criminal class on the physiological or humane system strikingly illustrates its value compared with the punitive methods still practiced. It is interesting to notice the conclusion of the last meeting of the International Prison Congress which was to the effect that no criminal is hopelessly bad and incapable of reform.

Socrates replied to an Athenian who inquired as to the best method of correcting the vicious and criminal tendencies of his son, "Remove from him all conditions which incite to vice and substitute the allurements of virtue." In physiological language he said, "Cease to stimulate the vicious brain cells which are now excited and govern his thought and they will waste and cease to influence him; stimulate the virtuous cells and they will enlarge until they control his acts."

"When you pass through the gate to this place, you left your past life behind you; I do not wish to have you ever refer to it; my only concern is as to what your future life will be, and to determine that question you are here." Such was the reply which the superintendent of a prison for convict women made to the threats of homicide of a young woman who was declared by a Boston judge to be the most desperate criminal ever known in the courts of that city. She boasted of having been in every prison in Ireland and in many of this country. The treatment was physiological; all incitements to vice and crime were removed and every possible stimulant to virtue substituted; the cells of the former wasted while the cells of the latter grew and became dominant. Today the priest of her parish in Ireland writes that she is the most helpful person he has in his work among the vicious classes.

"Try me," said a prisoner to the sheriff who asked him if he would work for wages. These two words reformed the management of a Vermont prison and made it a school for the making of useful citizens. The prisoners go out to work in the city of Montpelier and command by their conduct universal respect. They are seen on the streets on holidays without attendants; they receive wages for their work and thereby support, not only their families, but the prison itself. They leave the prison prepared to lead the lives of good citizens and few fail to meet that test of true reform.

"I am going to make men and not brutes of these fellows," said Governor West, of Oregon, when he began his famous prison reforms. His "first trick" with a convict, it is reported, stirred the state from the lowest to the highest. He requested the warden of the prison to give one of the most desperate prisoners a dime and direct him to call at the executive office. The warden replied that to give Jim Baggs a dime and his liberty meant that Jim would soon be scarce in Oregon. He, however, complied and the prisoner soon appeared at the state house; he was in prison dress but was very proud, informing every officer who he was and that he came on the Governor's invitation. A position was found for Jim Baggs on a farm where he did good service and the Governor made him his first "honor man." This reform in prison discipline resulted in the release of prisoners on parole "in droves," who found situations outside and earned their living and became respectable citizens. It is stated that, when one of his "honor men" broke parole, the Governor went out himself and captured him. Since that time the other convicts have made that prisoner's life miserable. The Governor sent a crew of forty convicts, without prison dress and unattended, to a distant town to work on a road. He says, "Oregon won't need a penitentiary at an early date."

"Arizona State Prison, a School for Developing Manhood," is the startling headline of a daily paper. Governor Hunt's policy in the management of prisons is physiological. He says, "Shall we go on making penitentiaries schools of crime, or make an effort to build up the man's character, restore his self-respect, strengthen his weakness, and cultivate in him a proper appreciation of his relation to others, and to society in general? You can never do these things by continually reminding him that he is a criminal, by submitting him to small humiliations or to cruelties."

The result of the management based on these principles is given by a prisoner: "The Governor thinks we are worth saving and he is willing to let us come back. He has taken away all our useless humiliations that kept before us our condition. The Governor trusts to our honor to obey the prison laws and there is not an English-speaking prisoner, at least, who would do anything to bring discredit on the Governor's policy. You have no idea already of the difference in the men among themselves. We used to have fights every day. Oh! it was hell. Now, although we are restless, and every man longs for liberty, we are at peace."

Other states are adopting the humane policy and converting their prisons into schools of reform and with marvelous results; prisoners of all grades respond to the influences which remove from their thoughts the incentives to vice and crime and yield to the allurements of virtue. The punitive or savage policy in treating convicts is generally dominant and the result is that prisons are schools of vice and a dead weight of taxation.


The curative treatment of the insane received a stunning blow by the publication of some ancient statistics showing that large numbers discharged as cured relapsed. This report by an eminent alienist had a blighting effect upon the faith of medical men in the real curability of the insane, and revived the old but popular belief, "Once insane always insane." The result was that their treatment became more empirical than scientific, the state hospitals custodial rather than curative, and the rate of cures a meager 25 to 30 per cent. An expert alienist, familiar with the management of institutions for the insane, has recently stated that 75 per cent of the insane are curable, and 90 per cent are capable of self-support, if adequate measures are taken for their cure, and for their training. "Adequate measures" embrace an exhaustive study of each case by a competent physician and persistent treatment.

Finally, I can only allude to the vast but practically unexplored field of medical therapeutics, which we have reason to believe abounds with agents for which brain-cells have a selective affinity. As we have stated, each cell has its own special stimulant and its own power of selecting from the blood the kind of nutriment and stimulant adapted to its function. When we know the affinity which any cell or group of cells has for a particular medicine we can medicate that particular cell or group with perfect accuracy. Thus, the oculist wishes to expand the pupil of the eye in order to explore its deeper recesses and with perfect certainty he uses atropine, which temporarily paralyzes the nerves that supply the iris.

Many similar instances of the specific action of medicinal remedies upon special brain cell-centers could be mentioned, but the investigations in that department of research have not advanced sufficiently to establish a code of practice. We can only conjecture that medical therapeutics will give us many agencies whose direct action on nerve centers will change their functions at our will.


Examples of the awakening of the religious consciousness —the "Soul Cells" of Haeckel—illustrate our subject. Perhaps the incident of St. Paul's conversion as related by himself is most illuminating. "Suddenly there shone from Heaven a great light ... I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice." A great light and a voice —sight and sound —aroused to intense activity the dormant "Soul Cells" (of Haeckel), which from that moment dominated every thought, word, and act of his life.

The power of the Christian consciousness, when awakened to activity, to change the most savage tribes into highly civilized communities is related as an incident in the experience of Darwin, the projector of the theory of "Evolution." In his first scientific voyage he found a tribe of savages in South America which seemed so hopelessly animal that he was inclined to believe he had found the missing link. Soon after his visit a pious Scotch captain of a trading vessel visited the tribe and was so impressed with their savagery that he felt impelled to attempt their conversion to Christianity. He returned home, secured a company of devoted Christians, stocked his vessel with the necessities of the colony and returned to the tribe. Several years later Darwin visited the tribe on one of his scientific explorations, intending to study the people more thoroughly. He was surprised on reaching the place to find a flourishing community with its schools, churches, and various industries under the government of the natives. On returning home he visited the rooms of the British Foreign Missionary Society in London and related the incident, stating that he desired to become a subscriber to the propagation of a religion which could effect such changes in savages.

It would be interesting and instructive to review the efforts hitherto made to improve the mental capacity of the degenerate, but time will allow the notice of only the most recent and promising methods now under trial.


The first is known as the "Electrified Schoolroom to Brighten Dull Pupils," of Nikola Tesla. It is well known that eminent experimental psychologists believe that the high-frequency current intensifies cerebration; that it is a mental stimulant like alcohol, but instead of being harmful to the brain cells as is alcohol, the electricity is harmless and confers lasting benefits.

Mr. Tesla's attention was attracted to this subject by noticing the effect of electricity on one of his assistants who, while making certain high-frequency tests, was very stupid in carrying out instructions concerning laboratory adjustments equipped with a coil generating high voltage currents. After a time Mr. Tesla noticed that his assistant became brighter and did his work better, but supposed the change was due to his becoming more familiar with his duties. On observing the actions of the man more closely, he concluded that his assistant's increased aptness and alertness was due to a much deeper cause than mere experience; that the elements of "mental life" —the brain cells — had been stimulated to greater functional activity. This new, novel and practical method of awakening to activity dormant brain cells, has been subjected to trial on a large scale in Stockholm, Sweden. Two sets of fifty children each, averaging the same age and physical condition, were placed in separate classrooms exactly alike except for the concealed wires in one of the rooms. The regular school work was pursued and the test lasted for six months.

The results recorded were as follows: The children in the magnetized room increased in stature two and a half inches, those in the unmagnetized room increased one and one-fourth inches; the former also showed an increase in weight and physical development greater than the latter. More remarkable was the difference between the mental development of the two classes, viz.: Those exposed to the electric rays averaged 92 per cent in their school work, compared with an average of 72 per cent of the children in the other rooms; fifteen pupils in the electrified room were marked 100, and nine in the other class. It is stated in the report that the electrified children appeared generally more active, and less subject to fatigue than those not electrified and that the teachers experienced a quickening of the faculties and an increase of endurance.

The method of applying the electricity is thus stated: Carefully insulated wires will be inserted in the walls of the experimenting classroom and the tests will be carried on without the knowledge of either the teachers or the pupils; the air of the room will be completely saturated with incalculable millions of infinitesimal electric waves vibrating at a frequency so great as to be unimaginable and capable of measurement only by a most delicate volt meter.


The second plan proposes to establish a "Clearing House for Mental Defectives" and is being matured in the Department of Public Charities of New York City. It will co-ordinate all organizations which have supervision of children in a common effort to separate the defectives and place them under proper care and treatment.

To this Bureau are to be sent all defective children that come under the supervision of the Department of Charities, the Board of Education, the Department of Health, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Department of Immigration, children's courts, state institutions, dispensaries, social workers, etc.

The bureau will be under the immediate control and management of a staff of experts in mental and nervous diseases. It will also be equipped with every recognized device or appliance for determining the mental grade of each child admitted, and the particular nature of feeble-mindedness. Each will be subjected to the Binet test, finger prints will be taken, and field workers will make an investigation into the heredity of each case. The examination also will determine whether the applicant is likely to be dangerous to the community by reason of any criminal tendencies.

The Clearing House will name the proper course of action in each case, and send a report on each child to the department or society which may refer the case. It will also co-ordinate all activities into one bureau organized to keep scientific records of the mentally defective individuals in this community.


Organized on the same principles there is maturing in the Bedford Reformatory, New York, a state system of expert examination of convicts and an assignment of each to a special institution adapted to correct the physical, mental or moral defects found to exist. The plan is to have a branch of service of the reformatory, but entirely separated from it, where preliminary investigations will be made. To this so-called "Bureau of Social Science" the convict is first admitted and remains there until her exact physical and mental condition is determined. This examination may require much time, but when it is completed the committing magistrate and the managers have learned to place her with precision under such discipline and influences as will most powerfully tend to effect her reform.

In this scheme we recognize the practical development of the Basic Principles of Race Betterment, viz. (1) The thorough study of each individual degenerate who is a candidate for public care, and (2) his or her immediate placement under conditions best adapted to correct, permanently, the physical defect which is found to be the predisposing or exciting cause of degeneracy. Adopted and intelligently enforced as a state policy, we cannot doubt that the Bureau of Social Science would convert our custodial into curative institutions, our prisons and reformatories into ''Schools for Developing Manhood," as in Arizona, and our almshouses into industrial, self-supporting colonies. Indeed, might not these burdensome public charities become valuable assets rather than dependencies of the state?

Members of the Conference, we organize today and place in full operation in the field of philanthropy a new force. The field is the world of degenerate humanity and the force is the regenerating power of applied science. Our efforts hitherto to better the race have been largely actuated by sentiment and hence have failed of that directness and efficiency essential to the highest degree of permanent success. It should be the constant aim of the promoters of this Conference to establish its work on an enduring basis and to promulgate no opinions, nor conclusions, nor recommendations that are not sustained by the immutable truths of science.

The Conference is to be congratulated upon the favorable conditions of its first session in the Battle Creek Sanitarium. We cannot express in terms too complimentary our appreciation of the efforts of the Medical Director and the officers to render this initial meeting of the Conference in the highest degree successful. Every possible provision has been made for our comfort and entertainment and for the orderly conduct of the sessions of the Conference.

But perhaps the most important feature of our meeting is that we are guests of an Institution whose beneficent mission is to promote race betterment by teaching and practicing "The Art of Healthful Living." The entire Institution is instinct with the "Battle Creek Idea," which is also the basic principle of the Conference on Race Betterment,

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano [Google translate: A sound mind in a sound body]

Some members of the Central Committee, National Conference on Race Betterment. Top row - Sir Horace Plunkett, Dr. J.H. Kellogg, Hon. Gifford Pinchot. Seated - Col. S.S. McClure and Prof. Irving Fisher
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