Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:05 am

The Eugenics Society archives in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
by Lesley A Hall

When the Wellcome Trust first set up the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (now subsumed into Archives and Manuscripts) within the Wellcome Institute Library in 1979, it was with the aim of collecting and preserving records illuminating twentieth century developments in medicine, biomedical science and healthcare. It was clear that a good deal of important material was falling through existing systems of preservation. The initial assumption was that the focus of collecting policy would be the papers of individual scientists and doctors, along the lines already being pursued by the Contemporary Scientists Archive Centre in Oxford (now the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists and relocated to Bath). However, it emerged at an early stage of the CMAC’s activities that there was equal urgency to preserve the archives of voluntary organisations operating within the medical/health/welfare field. These shed an important light on these issues within the British context, given the importance of voluntarism. The Wellcome now holds records of numerous professional bodies, learned societies, research institutions, charities, campaigning organisations and propagandist associations (and bodies which either simultaneously or at different phases of their existence performed several of these functions).

Although the papers of a few organisations had already been placed in the Wellcome Institute prior to the appointment of an archivist, the first organisational archive actively acquired by the newly established CMAC was that of the Eugenics Society, early in 1980. The CMAC has already received an important collection of papers of Dr Marie Stopes which had been rejected by the (then) British Museum Reading Room (now the Department of Manuscripts, British Library), although it had accepted substantial portions of her extremely large archive of personal papers and material relating to the birth control clinics she established. These two accessions laid the foundations for one of the major strengths of our collections, birth control and reproductive health more generally. The Wellcome now holds the most important archive on the birth control movement in the UK.

The Eugenics Society archive has been one of the most popular collections in the Wellcome: files were being made available to researchers even before cataloguing had been fully completed, such was the demand. As an archive it is extremely rich, and is of major interest well beyond research into the internal activities and politics of the Society, and indeed extending beyond the study of eugenics as an intellectual and political phenomenon. Over the past 10 years it has consistently been among both the most heavily-used collections we hold, with an average number of 18 readers per year, and among the collections from which the greatest numbers of items have been produced, with an average of over 500 productions each year. In the light of the latter statistic, the decision was recently taken to make researchers use the microfiche copies of the most heavily used portions of the collection for reasons of conservation. While many users are students undertaking dissertation projects, or individuals looking up one or two files bearing on a tangential subject of research, there have been major studies done, and still currently in progress, making extensive use of this archive. Some international scholars return year after year.

The Society was founded in 1907 with the by then very elderly Sir Francis Galton as President. The record for the early years of the Eugenics Education Society, as it was known until 1926, is relatively sparse compared to what survives for the period after approximately 1920. However, there is a complete run of Annual Reports from 1908, and before 1915, when they became much slimmer for reasons of wartime economy, these are extremely full and detailed and include membership lists (there are a number of irregular discrete membership lists for subsequent years). There are also minutes of Council from 1907, which include those of the Executive Council from 1913. The solid core of minute books continues to the 1960s (later volumes still being retained by the Society). Besides Council, Executive and Finance Committee minutes, increasing numbers of committees were set up from the 1920s for specific purposes (long and short-term), or to study and report on particular issues. These included Film, 1927; Propaganda, 1932-1940; Family Allowances, 1932-1934; Birth Control, 1932-1934; Research, 1923-1931, 1946-1956; and Editorial, 1936-1967.

Figure 1

The wider context within which the Society was established is well-documented in a series of volumes of newspaper cuttings, 1907-1910. These form part of a substantial group of press-cuttings within the collection, in both chronological and subject sequences, up to the 1970s. There are a number of gaps in the coverage, in particular the 1910s and 1920s represent a major lacuna, and there is also relatively little for the 1950s, although two files of cuttings concerning the 1958 debates on artificial insemination contextualise the Society’s own files on the subject and the audiotapes of doctors who were practising it recorded by the AID Investigation Council which it set up.

A very few files survive from the early years, including a substantial number of press-cuttings about the First International Eugenics Conference held in London in 1912, and one file on ‘Feeblemindedness’, which was, of course, an area in which the Society was particularly anxious to influence policy. However, on the whole this early material reflects propaganda activities rather than impact on policy, with items on conferences, notices of lectures, and minutes of the Summer School on Civics and Eugenics.

Figure 2

After 1920 an ever-increasing number of files, containing correspondence and other materials, survive. Two main sequences are particularly heavily used as they demonstrate the extraordinarily broad range of the Society’s interests and spheres of contact. There are 22 boxes of correspondence arranged by individual correspondent (‘People’): some of these were members or officers of the Society, but a considerable number were individuals with whom the Society was in contact for various reasons -– liaison on matters of mutual interest, requests to address meetings –- and even members of the general public. These files include many distinguished names, and even a few noted antagonists of eugenics feature, such as Dr Letitia Fairfield, feminist, socialist, Roman Catholic convert, and first female senior medical officer of the London County Council. There are slightly more boxes of ‘General’ files, containing materials either on specific subjects of interest to the Society, or pertaining to their relations with other organisations.

A number of other groups of material are also of considerable research interest. There is a single box of files on Branches and Other Societies, which include both provincial and regional branches and societies in the UK, organisations in other countries, and international bodies. The collection includes some material on family histories and pedigrees. The propaganda activities of the Society from the mid-1920s are well reflected in the archive. Increasing financial stability enabled it to support a small team of lecturers to go about the country addressing meetings of a wide range of organisations, from Women’s Co-operative Guilds to Rotary Clubs, and to take stands at exhibitions, health weeks and conferences. Reports were returned [see Figure 1] and these provide a very useful source about responses from audiences and their preconceptions. There also survive various visual aids prepared for exhibitions and lectures, including charts demonstrating heredity -– there is a particularly attractive one on the antirrhinum [see Figure 2] -– magic lantern slides, and posters. Besides their main purpose these also typify contemporary graphic design [see Figure 3: ‘Healthy Seed]. Two versions of the film made in the 1930s, with narration by Sir Julian Huxley, survive: the longer From Generation to Generation, and the abbreviated Heredity in Man. These are made available for viewing on video subject to the usual conditions of access (see below). Other visual materials include cartoons, a sketch of an armorial achievement deemed appropriate to the Society, the design for the ‘Eugenic family’ extensively used on the Society’s literature during the 1930s [see Figure 4], and some portrait photographs of individuals associated with the Society, including several members of Sir Francis Galton’s own family.

Figure 3

Figure 4

The financial position of the Society was rendered particularly solid by the 1929 bequest from the wealthy and eccentric Australian sheep-farmer Henry Twitchin. The collection includes not only a substantial amount of correspondence between Twitchin and Major Leonard Darwin (when the latter was President of the Society) prior to his death, but material on his family background and on the administration of his estate.

Embedded within this collection are various items originating with specific individuals or organisations who or which were connected with the Society. There are two boxes of papers of Sir Bernard Mallet, President of the Society, 1929-1932, created in his personal rather than his official capacity. On her death in 1958, Marie Stopes left her birth control clinic (and her library) to the Society. The collection therefore includes some clinic administrative material and other correspondence of Stopes’s, presumably found on the premises, as well as the records of the Marie Stopes Memorial Centre set up by the Eugenics Society to administer the clinic.

Because this clinic was not constrained by the various limitations of the Family Planning Association, it was able to do innovative work in the provision of contraception for the unmarried
(one is not quite sure whether the late Dr Stopes would have approved of this!). A number of items were given by Dr G. C. Bertram from his own collection of papers accumulated during his years of association with the Society. The Society provided support to the Birth Control Investigation Committee, 1927-1932, and the Joint Committee on Voluntary Sterilisation, 1934-1938, and records of both these bodies can be found in the archive. There is a good deal generally on the campaign to obtain Parliamentary legislation enabling voluntary sterilisation in the early 1930s, including letters from members of the general public trying to obtain this operation in the face of medical indifference or outright refusal, and as already mentioned, the Society took an active part in the debates on artificial insemination by donor in the period after World War II.

Besides the archives of the Society itself, a number of other collections in the Wellcome Library shed light on its activities and fill out the picture. The papers of Carlos Paton Blacker, FRCP, who was General Secretary from 1931 to 1952 and Honorary Secretary 1952-1961, contain correspondence with and about the Society, and also illuminate his less formal contacts with other members and officers of the Society, many of whom were or became personal friends. They also document his wider involvement in the birth control movement, from the Birth Control Investigation Committee in the 1920s, in which he played a leading role, to his work with the Simon Population Trust on vasectomy provision in the 1960s and 70s. After the Second World War Blacker was asked to comment on the ‘experimental work on eugenics performed in concentration camps by the medical profession in Germany’ and his papers include both notes from 1947, and his article ‘"Eugenic" Experiments Conducted by the Nazis on Human Subjects’, published in The Eugenics Review in 1952. The papers of the biologist Sir Alan Parkes also contain some items on the Society. The copious Family Planning Association archives contain material directly dealing with its relationship with the Eugenics Society, including further records of the Birth Control Investigation Committee, as well as correspondence with individuals such as Blacker and Baker, and discussions in committee about relations between the two bodies. The Marie Stopes papers, which consist predominantly of correspondence received from the general public who had read her books or seen her name in the press, include letters asking about questions of ‘breeding’ in the light of family health issues, as well as specifically on birth control. Most of her correspondence with the Society and with C. P. Blacker is to be found among the papers in the British Library Department of Manuscripts. The papers of the long-lived physician Frederick Parkes Weber FRCP (1863-1962) contain items testifying to his personal interest in the topic of eugenics (among the very many subjects in which he was interested), and, due to his particular medical concerns, this collection is actually a better resource for the study of the developing understanding of, and attitudes towards, genetic disorders within the medical profession between c. 1890 and 1960, than the archives of the Eugenics Society itself. Two files of copy correspondence from the Rockefeller Archive Centre, Tarrytown, New York, USA, about Rockefeller funding for research projects of the Society, mainly for John R. Baker’s spermicide research, 1934-1940, are also held.

What we do not have at the Wellcome are the papers of Sir Francis Galton: due to occasional misunderstandings about the relationship between the Galton Institute and this eminent late-nineteenth century polymath we sometimes receive requests for information relating to, e.g., Galton’s meteorological research or criminological investigations. His papers are, in fact, held just across the road in the Library of University College London (as are the papers of his disciple Karl Pearson), and UCL also houses a small museum of Galton artefacts.

The Wellcome Library holds the books and pamphlets formerly in the Eugenics Society Library, transferred in 1988 at the time of the move out of the Eccleston Square offices. These include many associational copies, especially for Marie Stopes, as a result of her bequest to the Society: numerous volumes formerly in her possession have been annotated by her in her dashing and unmistakable handwriting, which adds considerably to their interest. The Library catalogue (which includes the books and pamphlets from the Society Library) can be consulted online at

The Eugenics Society archives are open to researchers by appointment with Archives and Manuscripts, once they have gained the prior permission of the Galton Institute, and completed both an undertaking for the use of archives and manuscripts and a request to see restricted access material, which includes information as to exactly what they wish to see and how they propose to use it. Material is ordered, at present, using the references provided by a word-processed handlist (finding aids are currently being converted into a CALM 2000 database, which will enable them to be made available for searching online), produced by the archivists, and consulted under supervision in the Poynter Room (rare materials reading area) of the Wellcome Library. The archivists are always happy to answer queries (though we do not undertake research) and to provide copies of lists.

Contact details:
Archives and Manuscripts
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Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
England UK
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:59 am

Henry Twitchin: An Account of the Society's Most Generous Benefactor
by Major Leonard Darwin, D.Sc.
Eugenics Review, Vol. XXII, No. 2.
1930 Jul; 22(2): 91–97

Henry Twitchin
Birth: 21 Feb 1867, Australia
Death: 19 Mar 1930 (aged 63), England
Burial: Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England

Up to this spring, a generous member of our Society had been in the habit of giving us £1,000 a year, a fact not widely known because, respecting his earnest desire that his name should not be disclosed, as little as possible was said about it. This reason for our silence, however, no longer exists; for our benefactor, Mr. Henry Twitchin, died on March 19th last, quite unexpectedly after an operation for appendicitis. By his will the Society becomes the residuary legatee of his estate, thus probably more than trebling the income to be received by us from this source. As he is likely for long, or for ever, to head the list of our benefactors, it is fitting that some account of the man himself should accompany this expression of deep gratitude for what he has done for eugenics.

Henry Twitchin was born on February 22st, 1867, at Shaw-cum-Donnington in Berkshire, his father and grandfather having been farmers in good circumstances, the latter indeed being described as 'gentleman' in the death certificate. There was in Berkshire a family of this name, which traced back to the middle of the seventeenth century, with arms on the tomb of one of them; and with this family our Twitchins were most probably connected, since the name of Andrew occurs in both pedigrees of this uncommon surname. Henry Twitchin's mother's name was Lovelock, her father being a maltster, this being the surname of yeoman families in Berkshire back to Elizabethan times; and the same is true of Northway, his paternal grandmother's name. We may, in a future issue, be able to give a pedigree of the Twitchin family for those interested in such matters. His immediate ancestry nearly all lived to advanced old age, and for the most part left no recorded signs of ill health. It is true that his father, another Henry, though living to the age of eighty-seven, retired from work when comparatively young, and was reported to have been always an invalid and very irritable, though with dignified, aristocratic manners when in a good temper. He was both a reader and an independent thinker, holding views considered very advanced in his days. Our Henry Twitchin also had an uncle who was deformed and not at all a desirable character. His mother was an amusing and courageous old lady of strong character; whilst his two sisters, who completed the family, and of whom he was very fond, both died young of consumption. Our benefactor himself suffered constantly from periods of depression, but must have been physically very strong. He left no near relatives. These details are here given with reference to his remarks, to be quoted later on, with regard to his own hereditary tendencies.


Henry Twitchin was educated at Newbury Grammar School, and then at Downton Agricultural College, where he did well, winning several prizes. His training on the land led him to think of emigrating, and the fact that his father was strict and unsympathetic confirmed his determination to leave England in spite of the opposition of all the family. Who supplied the funds is unknown, possibly a certain well-to-do relative with no children; but certain it is that he was able to sail for Western Australia before he was twenty-two years of age and to start sheep farming soon after his arrival. His stocks suffered heavily in some of the droughts; but, after visiting England to raise further funds, he sunk a large number of artesian wells on his property, which then began to prosper greatly. When in 1924 he sold his estates of Towera and Lyndon, comprising over a million acres of pastoral leases, it was described as the biggest sale of such property ever negotiated in Western Australia. In fact, after thirty-four years hard work he returned to England, having made a considerable fortune, but with his health seriously impaired.

In spite of his trying and constant occupations, Henry Twitchin evidently had time to think, and did think deeply on many problems, though with little assistance of any kind. Judging from certain notes found amongst papers, philosophy and religion occupied his thoughts a good deal at one time; though, as we shall see, it was to eugenics that his mind was most constantly directed. But to show that he looked to environment as well as to heredity it may be mentioned that by his will the British and the Western Australian societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals received legacies, whilst the following extract from these early rough notes may also be quoted with the same object. "I am quite aware that a vast proportion of human suffering is mainly due to preventable causes and in too many instances is perhaps a just penalty for their own delinquencies; but I have also seen in my own family connection an amount of suffering patiently endured, for which no cause could be assigned and by those who to our view were least deserving of it, that has made a deep impression on me." Amongst these papers was found the telegram, which he had kept for thirty-eight years, announcing the death of his sister; and we may guess that it was her he had in his mind when he wrote these words.


Turning to the advantages which will accrue to the Society under the terms of Mr. Twitchin's will, some paragraphs of which will be quoted later on, the Society is placed under no "legal obligations" as to the way in which his magnificent bequest is to be spent. Nevertheless, I wish to take this opportunity of appealing to our Councils in the future, when deciding on the uses to which this income shall be put, always at all events to take into consideration -- I say no more than that -- what were the wishes and views of our great benefactor. Though I make this appeal, it is, I am sure, unnecessary, because all members of our Society are sure always to regard the matter in this light. What is desirable is to ascertain what these wishes and views really were.

As to the general opinions held by Mr. Twitchin in regard to eugenics, and his reason for holding them, they may perhaps best be gathered from the following extracts from his private correspondence with me. In reading them it must, however, be remembered that the earliest letters were written from Towera, a remote pastoral station in Western Australia, that none of them were intended for publication, and that if he had had the least idea that they would ever appear in print, he would probably have expressed himself more guardedly. His first letter to me was dated April 4, 1922, and deals largely with questions of business. The passages which concern us here run as follows:


"I first became interested in Eugenics about 25 years ago, when the idea of applying the principle we had for a long time made use of in improving our farm stock to the improvement of the human family occurred to me just as originally as it did to the Founder of our Society, or the Greeks of old, and no doubt to many others. This is not to be wondered at when it is known that I am descended from a long line of countrymen at home, some of whom helped to make our domestic animals what they are to-day, that I was live stock prizeman at the Downton Farming School in 1888, and since then have devoted my whole life to the breeding of live stock (over 40,000 last year), in which as you know, under the best practice, the principle of eugenics is the controlling factor.

"Although my occupation alone would naturally have led me to this conclusion, it was the fact that I was born of unsound parents and inherited their weaknesses and consequently have suffered thereby, that first forced this question upon me. Isolated as I was in what was then the Back Country here, I had no opportunity of discussing it with people who were likely to know what had already been done to make the idea of use to the world, although it was certainly explained to one or two of my more enlightened neighbours, and it was years afterwards that I met with a reference in some paper (The Times Weekly probably) to the work of the late Henry [Francis] Galton, and of the founding of the Eugenics Education Society.

"Applying the great principle, as I was constantly doing in my work, it was natural perhaps for me to see no difficulty in doing the same at once with men and women. And I was then advocating the immediate introduction of legislation in all civilised countries prohibiting the propagation of the unfit from any cause. But after reading some of the publications by the Society and other works on the subject, I realized that the great majority of the people were not ready for such a revolutionary change, and that the best course to bring about the desired improvement was to do as the Society was doing and educate, if possible, the masses to see the inestimable advantage of adopting the principle and gradually enforce control.

"Believing in practice as well as in principle, I never married
, although better fitted to do so probably than fully one-half of those who do -- and being the last of my family I have no relatives having any claim on my property I, in 1912, made my Will -- after providing for certain legacies -- in favour of our Society, for the carrying on of the propaganda which I believe to be by far the most urgent and important work possible in human endeavour. . . .


As it is of some importance to show in what ways Mr. Twitchin was led to believe that his bequest would be spent, it may be as well here to quote part of my reply to the above letter. It was dated June 9th, 1922, and ran as follows:

"As to the methods of utilising any further funds coming under the influence or control of our Society, that is a point on which I could say a great deal, and is one on which you will probably wish to hear something. We now often miss an opportunity of getting a lecture delivered on eugenics because we cannot afford to give any remuneration to our lecturers. If we could pay even a moderate fee, we should soon get together a capable band of lecturers, and, being able to comply with any demand, the work in this direction would soon be largely increased. Our Review, as a method of propaganda, would be improved if we could afford to pay something to our contributors. Research in certain directions is at a standstill for want of funds. I have in my mind especially certain half-finished work in connection with the pedigrees of London pauper stock, which would be valuable from a scientific point of view, and most helpful to lecturers to illustrate existing evils due to heredity. Lastly, our staff is ill-paid and inadequate, which makes all progress difficult. This is perhaps sufficient to show how greatly the whole position might be strengthened were more funds available. There is no institution throughout the world known to me which is carrying on such an active eugenic propaganda as we should desire to initiate had we the means; and for any Society to set a proper example in this respect might produce beneficial results to posterity of incalculable magnitude."

It must be remembered that in 1922 we were not receiving £1,000 a year as a gift from Mr. Twitchin, as we did in many later years.

A few more extracts from Mr. Twitchin's letters will now be given:

Perth, W. Australia, Nov. 19th, 1923. -- "You gave me some account of your more recent endeavours in the great cause, more particularly in securing a share of the Rockefeller bequest for the closer study of heredity in England, which was an excellent idea. But I suppose the money would have to be devoted to the purpose specified and might not be used for general propaganda. I trust the special effort you were making to increase the membership of the Society was successful, as it is more important to have many people interested in our teaching than to have the money of the few....

The last sentence is interesting as coming from one who has bequeathed such a large sum for the furtherance of eugenics.

The next quotation is dated April 30th, 1926, by which time he had come to live at the Villa Eugene at Nice. (He told me laughingly that the name of his house, though appropriate, was not given to it by himself.)

"The cinema and broadcasting seem to me to be the best means of reaching the largest number of people, though articles in the popular press would be read by a good many."


Villa Eugene, Dec. 20th, 1926. -- "Progress in practical eugenics measures is still very slow, although it appears to be dawning on some public authorities that sterilization is the only means to help them out of their financial difficulties in the case of the feeble-minded. Perhaps after thinking about it for another ten years it will be adopted. This is thoroughly British. Of course, we cannot begin operating until the spirit moves a sufficient majority to vote for it. In the meantime, as the Government will not do anything to establish public clinics for teaching birth control methods, there is nothing, as I understand the law, to prevent private effort in this direction. There seems little doubt that the poor are quite ready to practise contraception if they are only taught how to do it; although I fear that only the best of the poor would trouble to learn. Those we really want to stop breeding are too careless and improvident. Some day perhaps they will be sterilized without their consent."

Villa Eugene, April 10th, 1927. -- "Referring to your long letter on the subject, you quote Pearson as saying that 'the effect of Birth Control up till now [the time he wrote] has been simply disastrous.' But at that time only the better classes practised it, and withholding the knowledge from the inferior classes will not stop the practice in the higher. It would in fact have a tendency to increase the latter, as the support of the unemployed falls on them and renders them less able to keep their own families. I quite agree with the principles laid down in the Society's outline of a Eugenic Policy under Conception Control [this has been somewhat modified since these words were written]. Paragraph 3 covers the whole question as far as Britain is concerned. The time has come when owing to economic changes -- loss of trade, etc. -- which are likely to be permanent, the children of so many people cannot be raised 'in accordance with a certain minimum (decent) standard of civilization.' Perhaps no one but those who have had the management of large stock farms fully realize the practical side of this question. We know the utter madness of going on breeding up when the Ranch is fully stocked and there is no, or insufficient, outlet for the surplus....If it is to do any good we must banish sentiment and act drastically. We must not consider the rights of individuals over-much -- a lunatic in my opinion has no rights -- when the vital interests of the State are at stake."


Chambord, France, Aug. 26th, 1927. -- "I should not if I were you condemn 'stockyard methods,' so called, so severely. What are they but the practice of the very essence of eugenic principles -- the prevention of the breeding of the unfit and making it possible for only the best types to do so. It may be good policy for the present not to go too far, but if eugenic teaching is ever to do any practical good for the human family, stronger measures will have to be taken than any so far advocated."

Villa Eugene, Oct. 30th, 1928. -- "I have read your new book [What is Eugenics?] and agree with most of the arguments in it, but still think that in combating a great social evil we should not be over scrupulous as to the means by which we hope to bring about an improvement, and that as birth control in some form is the only practicable way to this end, it should be enforced by the authority of the nation regardless of the likes and dislikes of those who haven't the intelligence to know what is good for them or the contrary. Pro bono is still supposed to be a principle of democracies. Your smaller book is undoubtedly more suitable for the great majority of readers than the larger one and ... I should be glad to subscribe for say 1,000 copies to be sent to distributing centres in large towns, if you approve the proposal."

It gives me great pleasure to think that this plan was carried out, the copies being sent at his suggestion to public and other libraries at home and in the Dominions.
Of course he may have been mistaken as to the value of that book; but we cannot be mistaken in believing that his object was to place a book capable of being widely understood where it would be widely accessible.

Villa Eugene, June 18th, 1929. -- "The other book you sent me, Posterity, is I think a most useful contribution to the subject, very clearly and concisely stated and going a little further than you do in suggesting immediate remedies. . . . The late Health Minister could only propose keeping mental deficients (300,000) in colonies and after some training letting them out under supervision as though they could then be prevented from propagating. Could anything be more childish? ... Progress is slow, but the only way is to keep pegging away like a patient fisherman hoping for a bite sooner or later. I think we must look for the greatest developments in the newer countries like America, where deep-rooted prejudice is not so strong as it is in our country; and yet it is here that eugenic reform is most needed to get rid of the great burden of the unemployed."

Geneva, July 21st, 1929. -- "I certainly agree with you that our Society should advocate all measures likely to improve the race rather than concentrate on one only."


Passing on to consider what were Mr. Twitchin's more definitely expressed wishes, several wills were made by him in which his intentions of benefiting eugenics were expressed, the first one being signed in 1912. At about that same time he wrote a letter, from which the following extracts are taken, to be held for safe keeping with that will by the Public Trustee:

"Lest it should be considered that in bequeathing the whole of the residue of my estate, as I have done, for the purposes of furthering the knowledge and, I trust, in time securing the adoption of the principles of eugenics both in England and throughout the world, I have acted hastily.... I am desirous of mentioning by letter to you that .... I have for nearly 20 years past taken the keenest interest in all aspects of eugenics and have read and thought much upon the subject and, in the result, I am thoroughly convinced that to the extent the knowledge of the science is brought home to the people and its principles acted on and enforced, enormous beneficial results must inevitably follow, and it is to aid and assist in this that I very thankfully devote the bulk of my property."

When all the available evidence has been considered, it will be agreed, I believe, that the word "furthering," which occurs at the beginning of this last extract, is used in much the same sense as the phrase about bringing "home to the people," which is used later on. In fact I submit that it was the wish for a wide dissemination of already accepted eugenic truths which mainly actuated the writer of this letter.

In this will of 1912, and also in one of 1919, both of which were cancelled, Mr. Twitchin gave power to the Public Trustee as sole executor to pass on any part of the residuary estate to the Eugenics Education Society or to any society having the same or similar objects [the italics are mine] or, if the Society was not carrying on its work efficiently, to form a trust the income from which should at all times "be employed in the furtherance of the knowledge and principles of the science of eugenics." Whatever may have been the exact meaning intended to be attached to these last quoted words, they are not repeated in the will of 1926, in which the Eugenics Education Society was made residuary legatee in an unqualified manner. In 1922 a codicil was signed making the President of our Society a co-executor with the Public Trustee, who was at the same time authorized to discuss the terms of the will with myself. In the will of 1926 I was personally appointed, together with Sir Ernest Allen, to be co-executors with the Public Trustee, the President of the Society to act in my place if I failed. Finally, Mr. Twitchin signed a codicil on the day of his death which added his French estate to the property passing to our Society. Thus we see in these 18 years, from 1912 to 1930, signs of a steady increase both in his wish that his property should be used in "furthering the objects of the Society" and in his trust in our efficiency. The production of such an effect on the mind of an impartial and intensely interested observer cannot, to say the least, be made the foundation for an argument in favour of any drastic change in our policy or in our objects.


But what are our objects? Or rather, what had Mr. Twitchin been induced to believe them to be? In our Memorandum of Association they are set forth in the most authoritative manner under a number of headings, most of them dealing only with the business aspects of our proceedings. The first four of these headings, which alone concern us here, runs as follows:

"(1) The promotion of the science of eugenics; this science including the study of the laws of human life in so far as they concern human heredity and the conservation, evolution, and progress of the human race." These words were doubtless put in to permit any research being undertaken in connection with any eugenic question. But they cannot be quoted as giving any indication of Mr. Twitchin's views or wishes; for they were written after he signed his last will, and I have no reason to suppose that he ever saw them.

In the Memorandum then follow three other headings, which are both in substance and in words nearly identical with the statement of our objects which has appeared almost unchanged in every issue of our Review since its publication began. It was from that source that Mr. Twitchin most probably obtained his first information about us, and it is to these words in our Review that we ought to look if we wish to know what our benefactor had been led to regard as being our objects. They run as follows: -- "(1) Persistently to set forth the National importance of eugenics in order to modify public opinion and create a sense of responsibility in respect of bringing all matters pertaining to parenthood under the dominion of eugenic ideals. (2) To spread a knowledge of the laws of heredity so far as they are surely known and so far as that knowledge may effect the improvement of the race. (3) To further eugenic teaching at home, in the schools, and elsewhere."

We can here find no foundation for a belief that research was held by us to be one of our objects. Knowledge in so far as surely known is alluded to, but no mention is made of any increase in our knowledge. If we undertake research, which we are certainly at liberty to do, we must do so under the powers given us by our Memorandum of Association, which Mr. Twitchin probably never saw.

The words in the REVIEW concerning "all matters pertaining to parenthood" certainly indicate that we are very practical in many of our aims. That this is so is confirmed by the statement concerning the furtherance of teaching "at home, in the schools, and elsewhere." Home comes first, and does not this give the idea that our first object is to spread eugenic thought broadcast and as widely as possible? Schools come next and universities are not mentioned. May not Mr. Twitchin have been led to suppose that we regarded universities as centres from which eugenic light would automatically flow in all directions and not as dark places needing illumination by independent societies? To encourage the production, publication, and distribution of literature suitable both for schools and for the spread of eugenic thought in homes certainly comes within the declared scope of our work.


The following are the operative words of Mr. Twitchin's will of 1926 as far as it affects the "Eugenics Education Society": "It is my desire that the aforesaid bequest should constitute a permanent fund and that the income derived therefrom should alone be used for furthering the objects of the Society, including the support of branches of the Society, but I expressly direct that such desire shall not impose a legal obligation on the Society or prevent the expenditure of capital if such expenditure is deemed expedient at any time." Our Society cannot now change its objects as set forth in the Memorandum of Association, whilst when these words were written they could be altered by a two-thirds majority at any annual or special meeting of the Society. Hence I submit that the words of the will may be fairly interpreted as expressing a hope, but not a command, that we shall as a general rule not part with the control over the income arising from this bequest, and that we shall expend it in what were then declared to be the objects of the Society.

What Mr. Twitchin evidently desired was that the income derived from the money which he had won by many years of hard work in a trying climate should be used for the promotion of effective measures of eugenic reform. He knew that our knowledge of the laws of heredity had been sufficient to enable us to maintain and improve the qualities of our cattle; and this led him to feel sure that it was also sufficient to justify practical steps being taken in order to improve the inborn qualities of our nation. The main difficulty which he foresaw was the persuasion of the public of the immense advantages thus to be obtained; and he held that, to overcome popular prejudices, a persistent propaganda should be maintained by persons who had given the subject adequate attention. The choice between many legitimate ways of spending our newly-acquired income will always be open to our Council; for Mr. Twitchin showed his confidence in our judgment by not tying our hands at all tightly. This trust in us, however, merely strengthens the obligation of honour to follow the path indicated by him so long as we agree that it leads to the end he had in view, namely the advancement of mankind in the future.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:24 am

Pirbright Institute
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

The Pirbright Institute (Previously: Institute for Animal Health)
Abbreviation: N/A
Formation: 1987
Legal status Government-funded research institute (registered charity)
Purpose Farm animal health and diseases in the UK
Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, England
Region served: UK
Membership: Around 350 staff - half researchers, half operations
Director: Dr Bryan Charleston
Parent organization: BBSRC
Affiliations: DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs]
Budget: c. £30 m

The Pirbright Institute (formerly the Institute for Animal Health) is a research institute in Surrey, England, dedicated to the study of infectious diseases of farm animals. It forms part of the UK government's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Institute employs scientists, vets, PhD students and operations staff.


It began in 1914 to test cows for tuberculosis. More buildings were added in 1925. Compton was established by the Agricultural Research Council in 1937. Pirbright became a research institute in 1939 and Compton in 1942. The Houghton Poultry Research Station at Houghton, Cambridgeshire was established in 1948. In 1963 Pirbright became the Animal Virus Research Institute and Compton became the Institute for Research on Animal Diseases. The Neuropathogenesis Unit (NPU) was established in Edinburgh in 1981. This became part of the Roslin Institute in 2007.

In 1987, Compton, Houghton and Pirbright became the Institute for Animal Health, being funded by BBSRC. Houghton closed in 1992, operations at Compton are being rapidly wound down with the site due to close in 2015.

The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research was sited at Compton until October 2005.

Significant investment (over £170 million) is taking place at Pirbright with the development of new world class laboratory and animal facilities. The Institute has been known as "The Pirbright Institute" since October 2012.

On 14 June 2019 the largest stock of the rinderpest virus was destroyed at the Pirbright Institute.[1]

Directors of note

Dr John Burns Brooksby 1964 until 1980[2]


The work previously carried out at Compton has either moved out to the university sector, ended or has been transferred to the Pirbright Site. The Compton site currently carries out work on endemic (commonplace) animal diseases including some Avian Viruses and a small amount of Bovine Immunology whilst Pirbright works on exotic (unusual) animal diseases (usually caused by virus outbreaks). Pirbright has National and International Reference Laboratories of diseases.


25% of its income comes from a core grant from the BBSRC of around £11m. Around 50% comes from research grants from related government organisations, such as DEFRA, or industry and charities (such as the Wellcome Trust). The remaining 25% comes from direct payments for work carried out.


The Pirbright Institute carries out research, diagnostics and surveillance viruses carried by animals, such as foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), African swine fever, bluetongue, lumpy skin disease and avian and swine flu farm animals. Understanding of viruses comes from molecular biology.

It carries out surveillance activities on farm animal health and disease movement in the UK.


The Institute had two sites at:

• Compton in Berkshire - This was closed in early 2016 and services relocated to Pirbright where new facilities had been constructed.
• Pirbright in Surrey — shared with commercial company Merial

See also

• 2007 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak
• World Organisation for Animal Health
• Bluetongue disease
• Veterinary Laboratories Agency (now part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency)
• Animal Health (now part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency)
• Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (an Executive Agency of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)


1. "Killer virus destroyed by UK lab". 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
2. ... 7.full.pdf

External links

• Official website
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:41 am

A. K. Chesterton
by Wikipedia

A. K. Chesterton, MC
Personal details
Born: Arthur Kenneth Chesterton, 1 May 1899, Krugersdorp, South African Republic
Died: 16 August 1973 (aged 74), London, United Kingdom
Political party: British Union of Fascists (1933–1938); National Front (from 1967)
Relations: G. K. Chesterton (second cousin)

Arthur Kenneth Chesterton MC (1 May 1899 – 16 August 1973) was a journalist and political activist, born at Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg, in the Transvaal Republic. He was involved in the founding of several far-right movements in opposition to the break-up of the British Empire. He supported a strong anti-immigration stance thereafter as increasing numbers of former British subjects migrated to the United Kingdom.

The author G. K. Chesterton was his second cousin.

Early life

Born in Krugersdorp, South African Republic, A. K. Chesterton was sent to Berkhamsted School in England but persuaded his parents to let him return to South Africa in 1915. In October 1915 he added four years to his age and joined the British Army, who posted him to German East Africa, where he almost died of malaria and dysentery. After being commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 1918,[1] he served on the Western Front with the London Regiment and won the Military Cross.[2] His war experience was crucial to his repudiation of democracy.

After the war, he worked as a journalist for The Star in Johannesburg. He then secured a job with the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald in England, where, as theatre critic from 1925 to 1929, he cultivated his aesthetic sense of societal decadence and cultural decline.

For the next four years, according to Chesterton's biographer, David Baker:

"he tilted at windmills and sharpened his skills as a controversialist while the Great Depression deepened and the bankruptcy of liberal and capitalist democracy became apparent. The corporate state, he came to believe, would rule in the interests of the whole nation, whereas democracy was the plaything of special interests and privilege."[3]


Moving to London and marrying a Fabian socialist and pacifist, Chesterton lived near the headquarters of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists (BUF). He took to dropping by for conversation and argument, and by late 1933 he had joined the movement. He became the director of publicity and propaganda and chief organiser for the Midlands.

In 1936, alcoholism and overwork led to a nervous breakdown. He consulted a German neurologist and during 1936 and 1937 lived in Germany. After returning to Britain he was appointed editor of the Blackshirt, the official BUF newspaper. This position provided a pulpit for his increasingly anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He left the BUF in 1938, disillusioned, but continued to be active in far-right politics by joining the Nordic League and serving as editor of Lord Lymington's right-wing journal, the New Pioneer.

The Nordic League was a far right organisation in the United Kingdom from 1935 to 1939 that sought to serve as a co-ordinating body for the various extremist movements whilst also seeking to promote Nazism.

-- Nordic League, by Wikipedia

Chesterton became a member of the Right Club, a group founded in May 1939 to consolidate existing right-wing British organizations into a unified body. Archibald Ramsay, founder of the Right Club, explained its ideology and purpose:

"The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."[4]

In 1939, Chesterton re-enlisted in the British Army after the outbreak of war. He served in East Africa, but was invalided out in 1943 due to poor health. He returned to Britain and launched the short-lived National Front after Victory Group, a coalition that included the British Peoples Party. He became deputy editor of the publication Truth.

He lived again in Africa for a short time, but soon returned to Britain where he established the League of Empire Loyalists in 1954. The League was a pressure group against the increasing dissolution of the British Empire, and was known at the time for stunts at Conservative Party meetings and conferences. These included hiding underneath the platform overnight to emerge during the conference to put across points. The League had support from some Conservative Party members, but they were disliked by the leadership.

About this time, Chesterton was appointed by Lord Beaverbrook as a literary adviser, contributing to the Daily Mail and the Sunday Express. He also wrote Beaverbrook's autobiography, Don't Trust to Luck.[5]

Chesterton founded and edited the magazine Candour, which he issued for the rest of his life, and which is still published today.[6]

Chesterton co-founded the National Front (NF) in 1967, and later became its Policy Director.[7] He tried to exclude neo-Nazis from movements such as the National Socialist Movement and the Greater Britain Movement from joining the NF, but was unsuccessful. Upon stepping down the first of several long, inter-factional disputes took place within the NF which frequently affected its policies in ways of which Chesterton did not approve. Today, the NF describes itself as a "white nationalist organisation founded in 1967 in opposition to multi-racialism and immigration".[8]


Amongst Chesterton's works are Portrait of a Leader (1937), a hagiography of Mosley; Why I left Mosley (1938), which broke from his earlier work; The Tragedy of Anti-Semitism (1948) in which he distanced himself from this form of prejudice; and The New Unhappy Lords, a diatribe against international finance.

Later life and death

The last 30 years of Chesterton's life were spent in a modest flat in South Croydon with his wife, Doris. He died on 16 August 1973.

See also

• Candour


1. "No. 30824". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 July 1918. p. 9101.
2. "No. 31480". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 July 1919. p. 9722.
3. David Baker Ideology of Obsession: A. K. Chesterton and British Fascism, 1996, I. B. Tauris (UK)/Macmillan (US)ISBN 1-86064-073-7
4. Archived 27 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, article on Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminister, retrieved 30 August 2012,
5. Hugh McNeile (2014). The history of the League of Empire Loyalists and Candour. The A.K Chesterton Trust. p. 14. ISBN 0957540345.
6. Candour, BM Candour, London, WC1N 3XX
7. —
 Sue Onslow (10 September 2009). Cold War in Southern Africa: White Power, Black Liberation. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-135-21933-8.
 David Butler (1 February 1986). British Political Facts 1900–1985. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-349-18083-7.
8. Julia Verse (March 2014). Undoing Irishness: Antirassistische Perspektiven in der Republik Irland. transcript Verlag. p. 65. ISBN 978-3-8394-1682-2.

External links

• Amok-Run of the Sexologist Chapter 6 of A. K. Chesterton's, Facing the Abyss.
• Candour & A.K. Chesterton Trust Website
• The New Unhappy Lords - A.K. Chesterton's book online at the Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:54 am

Nordic League
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

The Nordic League was a far right organisation in the United Kingdom from 1935 to 1939 that sought to serve as a co-ordinating body for the various extremist movements whilst also seeking to promote Nazism. The League was a private organisation that did not organise any public events.[1]


The Nordic League (NL) originated in 1935 when agents of Alfred Rosenberg's Nordische Gesellschaft arrived in Britain to establish a UK version of their movement.[2] The main force behind this new group was Unionist MP Archibald Maule Ramsay who chaired the group's 14-man leadership council.[3] The group's constitution described it as an "association of race conscious Britons" and sought to co-ordinate all far-right and fascist movements whilst giving particular emphasis to anti-Semitism.[3]

The League sought to unite leading figures from across the far right, as demonstrated in April 1939 when a meeting addressed by Ramsay was chaired by a member of the British Union of Fascists who was supported by former British Fascists president R. B. D. Blakeney and Imperial Fascist League member E. H. Cole.[1] Other leading members included J. F. C. Fuller, the United Empire Fascist Party leader and Nazi agent Serocold Skeels, Henry Hamilton Beamish, Arnold Leese and P. J. Ridout.[3] The latter was credited with helping to popularise the NL's slogan "Perish Judah", which was frequently rendered "P.J." in public.[4]

BUF leader Oswald Mosley, fearful of being too closely associated with the League's extremist rhetoric, did not join but he permitted party members to do so which the likes of Fuller, Robert Gordon-Canning and Oliver C. Gilbert did readily.[2] As a result of these links the BUF was able to absorb the National Socialist Workers Party, a small group led by NL member Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Seton-Hutchison.[5]

Front groups

The NL was closely linked to the White Knights of Britain, a secret society otherwise known as the Hooded Men with ritual initiation based on Freemasonry and compared to the Ku Klux Klan that was active from 1935 to 1937.[6]The White Knights and the NL shared the same building as their headquarters.[2] Another group, the Militant Christian Patriots, that was active after the Munich Crisis urging Neville Chamberlain not to become involved in a "Jewish war", was also closely connected to the NL and said by MI5 to be a front organisation.[3] By using this group and another front organisation, the Liberty Restoration League, the NL was able to ensure that high-ranking figures such as the Duke of Wellington, the Duchess of Hamilton, Baron Brocket, and Michael O'Dwyer became involved in their movement.[5]

Response and demise

The NL came under increasing scrutiny after Kristallnacht, particularly for the violence of Ramsay, William Joyce and A. K. Chesterton in their anti-Semitic speeches.[7] Others such as Elwin Wright, who until 1937 was secretary of the Anglo-German Fellowship, called for the shooting of Jews, whilst Commander E. H. Cole condemned the House of Commons as being full of "bastardised Jewish swine".[7] However, such extremist language worked against the NL because its speakers were seen by the public at large as quite mad and so their pro-appeasement arguments were ignored.[8]

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, two leading members, T. Victor-Rowe and Oliver Gilbert, were interned, and the NL largely went into abeyance, with members joining other, more public, anti-war groups.[8] The League had officially disbanded as soon as war was declared although it continued to meet secretly at Gilbert's house until his arrest in late September 1939.[9] Two of its members, Joyce and Margaret Bothamley, left Britain for Nazi Germany after the outbreak of war.[10] Given the association of the NL with Nazism, BUF organiser Alexander Raven Thomson even suggested that Mosley publicly denounce the League as traitors in an attempt to present a more patriotic image, although Defence Regulation 18B came into force before this could be attempted.[11]


1. Benewick, p. 289
2. Dorril, p. 425
3. Thurlow, p. 80
4. Thurlow, p. 81
5. Dorril, p. 426
6. Thurlow, pp. 80-81
7. Thurlow, p. 82
8. Thurlow, p. 83
9. Dorril, p. 465
10. Thurlow, pp. 170-171
11. Dorril, p. 493


• Benewick, Robert, Political Violence and Public Order, Allan Lane, 1969
• Dorril, Stephen, Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley & British Fascism, Penguin Books, 2007
• Thurlow, Richard, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, Basil Blackwell, 1987

External links

• Spartacus on the Nordic League
• Chronicles of the British Far Right on the White Knights of Britain and Nordic League
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:41 am

Eugenics Record Office
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

As to the many institutions in America where admirable scientific work is being carried on in this field, there is one which I must, for two reasons, be allowed on this occasion to pick out for special mention, and that is the Eugenics Record Office, now a department of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, located on Long Island, New York. In the first place, it has for many years been under the direction of Charles B. Davenport, the President of this Congress, with Harry H. Laughlin, Secretary to the Congress, in immediate charge; and during that time excellent work has there been accomplished. In the second place, its initiation was made possible to a large extent by the generosity of Mrs. E. H. Harriman; and I should like to call the attention of the women of America to the fact that many opportunities still exist in their country for promoting national progress through the agency of eugenics; for none of the institutions concerned is too wealthy.

-- What is Eugenics?, by Leonard Darwin

The Eugenics Record Office (ERO), located in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, United States, was a research institute that gathered biological and social information about the American population, serving as a center for eugenics and human heredity research from 1910 to 1939. It was established by the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Station for Experimental Evolution, and subsequently administered by its Department of Genetics.[1]

Both its founder, Charles Benedict Davenport, and its director, Harry H. Laughlin, were major contributors to the field of eugenics in the United States. Its mission was to collect substantial information on the ancestry of the American population, to produce propaganda that was made to fuel the eugenics movement, and to promote of the idea of race-betterment.


The eugenics movement was popular and viewed as progressive in the early-twentieth-century United States.[2] Charles Davenport was one of the leaders of this campaign and avidly believed that it was necessary to apply Mendelian Genetics principles to humans. Davenport's wife, Gertrude Davenport, was also an important figure in this movement and the establishment of the ERO.[3] Gertrude Davenport was an embryologist and a geneticist who wrote papers with her husband supporting the idea that Mendelian genetics theories applied to humans.

Supported by the argument that the eugenics office would collect information for human genetics research, Davenport convinced the Carnegie Institute to establish the ERO.[4] He was well connected to wealthy people during the time and he lobbied them to finance his vision of the ERO. The ERO was financed primarily by Mary Harriman (widow of railroad baron E. H. Harriman),[5] the Rockefeller family, and then the Carnegie Institution until 1939. In 1935 the Carnegie Institution sent a team to review the ERO's work, and as a result the ERO was ordered to stop all work. In 1939 the Carnegie Institution's new President, Vannevar Bush, forced Laughlin's retirement and withdrew funding for the ERO entirely, leading to its closure at the end of that year.[6]

Superintendent Harry H. Laughlin, formerly a school superintendent in Iowa, held a position akin to that of an assistant director of the ERO. Charles Davenport appointed Laughlin as a head of the ERO due to Laughlin's extensive knowledge about breeding and the implementation of this knowledge in humans.[7] Under the direction of Laughlin, the ERO advocated laws that led to the forced sterilization of many Americans it categorized as 'socially inadequate'.[8]

The endeavors of the Eugenics Record Office were facilitated by the work of various committees. The Committee on Inheritance of Mental Traits included among its members Robert M. Yerkes and Edward L. Thorndike.[9] The Committee on Heredity of Deafmutism included Alexander Graham Bell. Harry H. Laughlin was on the Committee on Sterilization, and the Committee on the Heredity of the Feeble Minded included, among others, Henry Herbert Goddard. Other prominent board members included scientists like Irving Fisher, William E. Castle, and Adolf Meyer.

In the 1920s, the ERO merged with the Station for Experimental Evolution and adopted the name of the Department of Genetics of the Carnegie Institute.[10]

Eventually, the ERO closed on December 1939 in part due to the disapproval it received. The information that had been collected by the ERO was distributed amongst other genetic research based organizations and collections services.[1]

The ERO's reports, articles, charts, and pedigrees were considered scientific facts in their day, but have since been discredited. In 1944 its records were transferred to the Charles Fremont Dight Institute for the Promotion of Human Genetics at the University of Minnesota. When the Dight Institute closed in 1991, the genealogical material was filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and given to the Center for Human Genetics. The non-genealogical material was not filmed and was given to the American Philosophical Society Library. The American Philosophical Society has a copy of the microfilm as well. Today, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory maintains the full historical records, communications and artifacts of the ERO for historical,[11] teaching and research purposes. The documents are housed in a campus archived and can be accessed online[12] and in a series of multimedia websites.[13]


The ERO collected research mostly through questionnaires. These questionnaires asked questions which described the characteristics of individual people and their families. These characteristics ranged from physical to temperamental properties. Many of these questionnaires were collected by field workers, usually educated women (who had few other jobs open to them), who would go door-to-door asking people to fill out this information. Many of these women had bachelor's degrees in biology, and graduate school degrees were not uncommon.[14] Additionally, the ERO had other methods of collecting these questionnaires such as sending them through the mail, and promoting them as methods for families to learn about their genetic lineage and family history.[1]

The research collected by these field workers provided much of the information which facilitated the passage of several laws during the 1920s.[1]

The ERO disseminated its information and its message via a variety of outlets. These included a journal called Eugenical News, posters with propaganda full messages about intelligent breeding, and pamphlets with information on the movement.[10]


Eugenics was and continues to be a controversial issue due to the pressure radical eugenicists put on the government to pass legislation that would restrict the liberties of the people who had traits that could be considered undesirable.[1] Specifically, the ERO dedicated its resources to the restriction of immigrants and the forced sterilization of individuals with undesirable characteristics. They promoted their ideas through the distribution of propaganda that came in the form of images and information packets.

Something else that caused tension within and surrounding the ERO was Harry H. Laughlin's radical policy suggestions. He was known for presenting fraudulent evidence to support policies of forced sterilization and was known for dogmatism. Furthermore, the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and their use of and belief in eugenics led to opposition to the American program. The ERO finally being closed in 1939.[15]


1. Tom. "Eugenics Record Office - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Library & Archives". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
2. "Haunted Files: The Eugenics Record Office (October 3, 2014 – March 13, 2015) – Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
3. "The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1910-1939) | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
4. Allen, Garland E. (1986-01-01). "The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, 1910-1940: An Essay in Institutional History". Osiris. 2: 225–264. doi:10.1086/368657. JSTOR 301835. PMID 11621591.
5. Comfort, Nathaniel C. (2009-06-30). The Tangled Field: Barbara... ISBN 9780674029828. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
6. See Jan A. Witkowski, "Charles Benedict Davenport, 1866-1944," in Jan A. Witkowski and John R. Inglis, eds., Davenport’s Dream: 21st Century Reflections on Heredity and Eugenics (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2008), p. 52.
7. "The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1910-1939) | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
8. Wilson, Philip K (2002). "Harry Laughlin's eugenic crusade to control the 'socially inadequate' in Progressive Era America". Patterns of Prejudice. 36 (1): 49–67. doi:10.1080/003132202128811367. ISSN 0031-322X.
9. Zenderland, Leila (2001), Measuring Minds: Henry Herbert Goddard and the Origins of American Intelligence Testing, New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 164.
10. Office, Eugenics Record (2000-09-01). "Eugenics Record Office Records". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
11. See Daniel J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (Alfred A. Knopf, 1985); Elof A. Carlson: The Unfit: The History of a Bad Idea (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2001); Jan A. Witkowski and John R. Inglis, eds., Davenport’s Dream: 21st Century Reflections on Heredity and Eugenics (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2008)
12. CSHL Archives general search: “eugenics” [1] Carnegie Institution of Washington Eugenics Record Office Collection: [2]Charles B. Davenport Collection: [3] The study of human heredity; Methods of collecting, charting, and analyzing data: [4]The Eugenics Record Office at the end of twenty-seven months work: [5]
13. DNALC web pages on Eugenics: [6]; DNALC Image Archives on the Eugenics Movement: [7]; [8]; DNALC Chronicle of eugenics: [9];
14. "The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1910-1939) | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
15. "EugenicsArchive". Retrieved 2017-04-21.

Further reading

• Black, Edwin (2003). War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. New York; London: Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 1-56858-258-7.
• Karier, Clarence J, "Testing for Order and Control in the Corporate Liberal State", in Karier, CJ; Violas, P; Spring, J (eds.), Roots of Crisis: American Education in the Twentieth Century, pp. 108–37 [112].
• Kevles, Daniel J (2001), In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity, Cambridge, MA, US: Harvard University Press.

External links

• Eugenics Archive – features much material from the ERO archives.
• Eugenics Records Office (finding aid), American Philosophical Society Library.
• ERO (index), American Philosophical Society Library, archived from the original on 2004-10-12, retrieved 2004-10-21.


Eugenics Record Office
by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Accessed: 3/29/20


This collection was generated by the Eugenics Record Office which was created as a department of the Carnegie Institution of Washington Station (CIW) for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor New York. The Carnegie Institution of Washington engaged in research in biology from 1904 using a tract of about 9 acres leased for 50 years from the Wawepex [Wauwepex] Society in Cold Spring Harbor NY. With Charles Davenport as the Director, a laboratory was built and the “station” opened in June 1904; it was named “Station for Experimental Evolution” (SEE) in 1906. [url]In 1910, with funding from Mrs. E. H. Harriman, an 80 acre farm near the SEE was purchased, and an office building was erected to establish [url=]the Eugenics Record Office (ERO)[/url][/url]. In 1918, Mrs. Harriman transferred the farm and building to CIW along with an endowment for its maintenance. In 1921 the SEE and ERO were combined into the CIW Department of Genetics with Charles Davenport as the Director. After Charles Davenport retired in 1934, Dr. Albert Blakeslee served as Director of the CIW Department of Genetics until 1941 when Milislav Demerec was named Director. The ERO closed in December 1939 and materials including the collection of forms containing hereditary and genealogical information records were put into storage. At this point the name of the ERO was changed to Genetics Record Office. In 1948 the records from the Eugenics Record Office were donated to the University of Minnesota for use by the Dight Institute of Human Genetics. That material was ultimately dispersed amongst three institutions: the American Philosophical Society, Jackson Laboratories and The Genealogical Society of Utah.

The ERO was devoted to the collection and analysis of American family genetic and traits history records. These eugenics studies collected information such as inborn physical, mental and temperamental properties to enable the family to trace the segregation and recombination of inborn or heritable qualities. The family study files include individual analysis cards, field worker reports, pedigree charts, and special trait studies. Davenport was president of the American Society of Zoologists and in 1910 he founded the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, and appointed Harry H. Laughlin to direct it. H. H. Laughlin became a spokesman for the programmatic side of the previous eugenics movement, lobbying for eugenic legislation to restrict immigration and sterilize "defectives," educating the public on eugenic health, and disseminating eugenic ideas widely. The Record Office formally came under the aegis of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Thomas Hunt Morgan
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/26/20

[1932] Thus far I have only mentioned the more practical aspects of the labors of your Congress. As to the students of genetics, that being the very foundation on which eugenics is built, in whatever part of the world they live the name of T. H. Morgan is certain to be indelibly recorded in their minds; for the work done by him, and by an able band of American fellow workers, has been of inestimable value, not only to pure science, but also in the promotion of practical progress in racial matters.

-- What is Eugenics?, by Leonard Darwin

Thomas Hunt Morgan, ForMemRS
Johns Hopkins yearbook of 1891
Born: September 25, 1866, Lexington, Kentucky
Died: December 4, 1945 (aged 79), Pasadena, California
Nationality: United States
Alma mater: University of Kentucky (B.S.); Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.)
Known for: Establishing Drosophila melanogaster as a major model organism in genetics; Linked genes
Awards: Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1909)[1]; Foreign Member of the Royal Society (1919)[2]; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1933); Copley Medal (1939)
Scientific career
Fields: Genetics; Embryology
Institutions: Bryn Mawr College; Columbia University; California Institute of Technology
Doctoral students: Nettie Maria Stevens; John Howard Northrop; Hermann Joseph Muller; Calvin Bridges; Alfred Sturtevant

Thomas Hunt Morgan (September 25, 1866 – December 4, 1945)[2] was an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist, embryologist, and science author who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for discoveries elucidating the role that the chromosome plays in heredity.[3]

Morgan received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in zoology in 1890 and researched embryology during his tenure at Bryn Mawr. Following the rediscovery of Mendelian inheritance in 1900, Morgan began to study the genetic characteristics of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In his famous Fly Room at Columbia University, Morgan demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes and are the mechanical basis of heredity. These discoveries formed the basis of the modern science of genetics.

During his distinguished career, Morgan wrote 22 books and 370 scientific papers.[2] As a result of his work, Drosophila became a major model organism in contemporary genetics. The Division of Biology which he established at the California Institute of Technology has produced seven Nobel Prize winners.

Early life and education

Morgan was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Charlton Hunt Morgan and Ellen Key Howard Morgan.[3][4] Part of a line of Southern plantation and slave owners on his father's side, Morgan was a nephew of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan; his great-grandfather John Wesley Hunt had been the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains. Through his mother, he was the great-grandson of Francis Scott Key, the author of the "Star Spangled Banner", and John Eager Howard, governor and senator from Maryland.[4] Following the Civil War, the family fell on hard times with the temporary loss of civil and some property rights for those who aided the Confederacy. His father had difficulty finding work in politics and spent much of his time coordinating veterans reunions.

Beginning at age 16 in the Preparatory Department, Morgan attended the State College of Kentucky (now the University of Kentucky). He focused on science; he particularly enjoyed natural history, and worked with the U.S. Geological Survey in his summers. He graduated as valedictorian in 1886 with a Bachelor of Science degree.[5] Following a summer at the Marine Biology School in Annisquam, Massachusetts, Morgan began graduate studies in zoology at the recently founded Johns Hopkins University, the first research-oriented American university. After two years of experimental work with morphologist William Keith Brooks and writing several publications, Morgan was eligible to receive a master of science from the State College of Kentucky in 1888. The college required two years of study at another institution and an examination by the college faculty. The college offered Morgan a full professorship; however, he chose to stay at Johns Hopkins and was awarded a relatively large fellowship to help him fund his studies.[citation needed]

Under Brooks, Morgan completed his thesis work on the embryology of sea spiders—collected during the summers of 1889 and 1890 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts—to determine their phylogenetic relationship with other arthropods. He concluded that with respect to embryology, they were more closely related to spiders than crustaceans. Based on the publication of this work, Morgan was awarded his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1890, and was also awarded the Bruce Fellowship in Research. He used the fellowship to travel to Jamaica, the Bahamas and to Europe to conduct further research.[6]

Nearly every summer from 1890 to 1942, Morgan returned to the Marine Biological Laboratory to conduct research. He became very involved in governance of the institution, including serving as an MBL trustee from 1897 to 1945.[7]

Career and research

Morgan's career and research can be broken into several phases:

Bryn Mawr

In 1890, Morgan was appointed associate professor (and head of the biology department) at Johns Hopkins' sister school Bryn Mawr College, replacing his colleague Edmund Beecher Wilson.[8] Morgan taught all morphology-related courses, while the other member of the department, Jacques Loeb, taught the physiological courses. Although Loeb stayed for only one year, it was the beginning of their lifelong friendship.[9] Morgan lectured in biology five days a week, giving two lectures a day. He frequently included his own recent research in his lectures. Although an enthusiastic teacher, he was most interested in research in the laboratory. During the first few years at Bryn Mawr, he produced descriptive studies of sea acorns, ascidian worms and frogs.

In 1894 Morgan was granted a year's absence to conduct research in the laboratories of Stazione Zoologica in Naples, where Wilson had worked two years earlier. There he worked with German biologist Hans Driesch, whose research in the experimental study of development piqued Morgan's interest. Among other projects that year, Morgan completed an experimental study of ctenophore embryology. In Naples and through Loeb, he became familiar with the Entwicklungsmechanik (roughly, "developmental mechanics") school of experimental biology. It was a reaction to the vitalistic Naturphilosophie, which was extremely influential in 19th-century morphology. Morgan changed his work from traditional, largely descriptive morphology to an experimental embryology that sought physical and chemical explanations for organismal development.[10]

At the time, there was considerable scientific debate over the question of how an embryo developed. Following Wilhelm Roux's mosaic theory of development, some believed that hereditary material was divided among embryonic cells, which were predestined to form particular parts of a mature organism. Driesch and others thought that development was due to epigenetic factors, where interactions between the protoplasm and the nucleus of the egg and the environment could affect development. Morgan was in the latter camp; his work with Driesch demonstrated that blastomeres isolated from sea urchin and ctenophore eggs could develop into complete larvae, contrary to the predictions (and experimental evidence) of Roux's supporters.[11] A related debate involved the role of epigenetic and environmental factors in development; on this front Morgan showed that sea urchin eggs could be induced to divide without fertilization by adding magnesium chloride. Loeb continued this work and became well known for creating fatherless frogs using the method.[12] [13]

When Morgan returned to Bryn Mawr in 1895, he was promoted to full professor. Morgan's main lines of experimental work involved regeneration and larval development; in each case, his goal was to distinguish internal and external causes to shed light on the Roux-Driesch debate. He wrote his first book, The Development of the Frog's Egg (1897). He began a series of studies on different organisms' ability to regenerate. He looked at grafting and regeneration in tadpoles, fish and earthworms; in 1901 he published his research as Regeneration.

Beginning in 1900, Morgan started working on the problem of sex determination, which he had previously dismissed when Nettie Stevens discovered the impact of the Y chromosome on sex. He also continued to study the evolutionary problems that had been the focus of his earliest work.[14]

Columbia University

Later in 1904, E. B. Wilson—still blazing the path for his younger friend—invited Morgan to join him at Columbia University. This move freed him to focus fully on experimental work.[15]

In a typical Drosophila genetics experiment, male and female flies with known phenotypes are put in a jar to mate; females must be virgins. Eggs are laid in porridge which the larva feed on; when the life cycle is complete, the progeny are scored for inheritance of the trait of interest.

When Morgan took the professorship in experimental zoology, he became increasingly focused on the mechanisms of heredity and evolution. He had published Evolution and Adaptation (1903); like many biologists at the time, he saw evidence for biological evolution (as in the common descent of similar species) but rejected Darwin's proposed mechanism of natural selection acting on small, constantly produced variations.

Extensive work in biometry seemed to indicate that continuous natural variation had distinct limits and did not represent heritable changes. Embryological development posed an additional problem in Morgan's view, as selection could not act on the early, incomplete stages of highly complex organs such as the eye. The common solution of the Lamarckian mechanism of inheritance of acquired characters, which featured prominently in Darwin's theory, was increasingly rejected by biologists. According to Morgan's biographer Garland Allen, he was also hindered by his views on taxonomy: he thought that species were entirely artificial creations that distorted the continuously variable range of real forms, while he held a "typological" view of larger taxa and could see no way that one such group could transform into another. But while Morgan was skeptical of natural selection for many years, his theories of heredity and variation were radically transformed through his conversion to Mendelism.[16]

In 1900 three scientists, Carl Correns, Erich von Tschermak and Hugo De Vries, had rediscovered the work of Gregor Mendel, and with it the foundation of genetics. De Vries proposed that new species were created by mutation, bypassing the need for either Lamarckism or Darwinism. As Morgan had dismissed both evolutionary theories, he was seeking to prove De Vries' mutation theory with his experimental heredity work. He was initially skeptical of Mendel's laws of heredity (as well as the related chromosomal theory of sex determination), which were being considered as a possible basis for natural selection.

Sex linked inheritance of the white eyed mutation.

Following C. W. Woodworth and William E. Castle, around 1908 Morgan started working on the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and encouraging students to do so as well. With Fernandus Payne, he mutated Drosophila through physical, chemical, and radiational means.[17][18] He began cross-breeding experiments to find heritable mutations, but they had no significant success for two years.[17] Castle had also had difficulty identifying mutations in Drosophila, which were tiny. Finally in 1909, a series of heritable mutants appeared, some of which displayed Mendelian inheritance patterns; in 1910 Morgan noticed a white-eyed mutant male among the red-eyed wild types. When white-eyed flies were bred with a red-eyed female, their progeny were all red-eyed. A second generation cross produced white-eyed males—a sex-linked recessive trait, the gene for which Morgan named white. Morgan also discovered a pink-eyed mutant that showed a different pattern of inheritance. In a paper published in Science in 1911, he concluded that (1) some traits were sex-linked, (2) the trait was probably carried on one of the sex chromosomes, and (3) other genes were probably carried on specific chromosomes as well.

Morgan's illustration of crossing over, from his 1916 A Critique of the Theory of Evolution

Morgan and his students became more successful at finding mutant flies; they counted the mutant characteristics of thousands of fruit flies and studied their inheritance. As they accumulated multiple mutants, they combined them to study more complex inheritance patterns. The observation of a miniature-wing mutant, which was also on the sex chromosome but sometimes sorted independently to the white-eye mutation, led Morgan to the idea of genetic linkage and to hypothesize the phenomenon of crossing over. He relied on the discovery of Frans Alfons Janssens, a Belgian professor at the University of Leuven, who described the phenomenon in 1909 and had called it chiasmatypie. Morgan proposed that the amount of crossing over between linked genes differs and that crossover frequency might indicate the distance separating genes on the chromosome. The later English geneticist J. B. S. Haldane suggested that the unit of measurement for linkage be called the morgan. Morgan's student Alfred Sturtevant developed the first genetic map in 1913.

Thomas Hunt Morgan's Drosophila melanogaster genetic linkage map. This was the first successful gene mapping work and provides important evidence for the chromosome theory of inheritance. The map shows the relative positions of allelic characteristics on the second Drosophila chromosome. The distance between the genes (map units) are equal to the percentage of crossing-over events that occurs between different alleles. [19]

In 1915 Morgan, Sturtevant, Calvin Bridges and H. J. Muller wrote the seminal book The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity.[20] Geneticist Curt Stern called the book "the fundamental textbook of the new genetics" and C. H. Waddington noted that "Morgan's theory of the chromosome represents a great leap of imagination comparable with Galileo or Newton".

In the following years, most biologists came to accept the Mendelian-chromosome theory, which was independently proposed by Walter Sutton and Theodor Boveri in 1902/1903, and elaborated and expanded by Morgan and his students. Garland Allen characterized the post-1915 period as one of normal science, in which "The activities of 'geneticists' were aimed at further elucidation of the details and implications of the Mendelian-chromosome theory developed between 1910 and 1915." But, the details of the increasingly complex theory, as well as the concept of the gene and its physical nature, were still controversial. Critics such as W. E. Castle pointed to contrary results in other organisms, suggesting that genes interact with each other, while Richard Goldschmidt and others thought there was no compelling reason to view genes as discrete units residing on chromosomes.[21]

Because of Morgan's dramatic success with Drosophila, many other labs throughout the world took up fruit fly genetics. Columbia became the center of an informal exchange network, through which promising mutant Drosophila strains were transferred from lab to lab; Drosophila became one of the first, and for some time the most widely used, model organisms.[22] Morgan's group remained highly productive, but Morgan largely withdrew from doing fly work and gave his lab members considerable freedom in designing and carrying out their own experiments.

He returned to embryology and worked to encourage the spread of genetics research to other organisms and the spread of the mechanistic experimental approach (Enwicklungsmechanik) to all biological fields.[23] After 1915, he also became a strong critic of the growing eugenics movement, which adopted genetic approaches in support of racist views of "improving" humanity.[24]

Morgan's fly-room at Columbia became world-famous, and he found it easy to attract funding and visiting academics. In 1927 after 25 years at Columbia, and nearing the age of retirement, he received an offer from George Ellery Hale to establish a school of biology in California.


Morgan moved to California to head the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology in 1928. In establishing the biology division, Morgan wanted to distinguish his program from those offered by Johns Hopkins and Columbia, with research focused on genetics and evolution; experimental embryology; physiology; biophysics and biochemistry. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Marine Laboratory at Corona del Mar. He wanted to attract the best people to the Division at Caltech, so he took Bridges, Sturtevant, Jack Shultz and Albert Tyler from Columbia and took on Theodosius Dobzhansky as an international research fellow. More scientists came to work in the Division including George Beadle, Boris Ephrussi, Edward L. Tatum, Linus Pauling, Frits Went, and Sidney W. Fox.

In accordance with his reputation, Morgan held numerous prestigious positions in American science organizations. From 1927 to 1931 Morgan served as the President of the National Academy of Sciences; in 1930 he was the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and in 1932 he chaired the Sixth International Congress of Genetics in Ithaca, New York. In 1933 Morgan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; he had been nominated in 1919 and 1930 for the same work. As an acknowledgement of the group nature of his discovery he gave his prize money to Bridges', Sturtevant's and his own children. Morgan declined to attend the awards ceremony in 1933, instead attending in 1934. The 1933 rediscovery of the giant polytene chromosomes in the salivary gland of Drosophila may have influenced his choice. Until that point, the lab's results had been inferred from phenotypic results, the visible polytene chromosome enabled them to confirm their results on a physical basis. Morgan's Nobel acceptance speech entitled "The Contribution of Genetics to Physiology and Medicine" downplayed the contribution genetics could make to medicine beyond genetic counselling. In 1939 he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society.

He received two extensions of his contract at Caltech, but eventually retired in 1942, becoming professor and chairman emeritus. George Beadle returned to Caltech to replace Morgan as chairman of the department in 1946. Although he had retired, Morgan kept offices across the road from the Division and continued laboratory work. In his retirement, he returned to the questions of sexual differentiation, regeneration, and embryology.

Morgan had throughout his life suffered with a chronic duodenal ulcer. In 1945, at age 79, he experienced a severe heart attack and died from a ruptured artery.

Morgan and evolution

Morgan was interested in evolution throughout his life. He wrote his thesis on the phylogeny of sea spiders (pycnogonids) and wrote four books about evolution. In Evolution and Adaptation (1903), he argued the anti-Darwinist position that selection could never produce wholly new species by acting on slight individual differences.[25] He rejected Darwin's theory of sexual selection[26] and the Neo-Lamarckian theory of the inheritance of acquired characters.[27] Morgan was not the only scientist attacking natural selection. The period 1875–1925 has been called 'The eclipse of Darwinism'.[28] After discovering many small stable heritable mutations in Drosophila, Morgan gradually changed his mind. The relevance of mutations for evolution is that only characters that are inherited can have an effect in evolution. Since Morgan (1915) 'solved the problem of heredity', he was in a unique position to examine critically Darwin's theory of natural selection.

In A Critique of the Theory of Evolution (1916), Morgan discussed questions such as: "Does selection play any role in evolution? How can selection produce anything new? Is selection no more than the elimination of the unfit? Is selection a creative force?" After eliminating some misunderstandings and explaining in detail the new science of Mendelian heredity and its chromosomal basis, Morgan concludes, "the evidence shows clearly that the characters of wild animals and plants, as well as those of domesticated races, are inherited both in the wild and in domesticated forms according to the Mendel's Law". "Evolution has taken place by the incorporation into the race of those mutations that are beneficial to the life and reproduction of the organism".[29] Injurious mutations have practically no chance of becoming established.[30] Far from rejecting evolution, as the title of his 1916 book may suggest, Morgan laid the foundation of the science of genetics. He also laid the theoretical foundation for the mechanism of evolution: natural selection. Heredity was a central plank of Darwin's theory of natural selection, but Darwin could not provide a working theory of heredity. Darwinism could not progress without a correct theory of genetics. By creating that foundation, Morgan contributed to the neo-Darwinian synthesis, despite his criticism of Darwin at the beginning of his career. Much work on the Evolutionary Synthesis remained to be done.

Awards and honors

Morgan left an important legacy in genetics. Some of Morgan's students from Columbia and Caltech went on to win their own Nobel Prizes, including George Wells Beadle and Hermann Joseph Muller. Nobel prize winner Eric Kandel has written of Morgan, "Much as Darwin's insights into the evolution of animal species first gave coherence to nineteenth-century biology as a descriptive science, Morgan's findings about genes and their location on chromosomes helped transform biology into an experimental science."[31]

• Johns Hopkins awarded Morgan an honorary LL.D. and the University of Kentucky awarded him an honorary Ph.D.
• He was elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1909.[1]
• He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1919[2]
• In 1924 Morgan received the Darwin Medal.
• The Thomas Hunt Morgan School of Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky is named for him.
• The Genetics Society of America annually awards the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal, named in his honor, to one of its members who has made a significant contribution to the science of genetics.
• Thomas Hunt Morgan's discovery was illustrated on a 1989 stamp issued in Sweden, showing the discoveries of eight Nobel Prize-winning geneticists.
• A junior high school in Shoreline, Washington was named in Morgan's honor for the latter half of the 20th century.

Personal life

On June 4, 1904, Morgan married Lillian Vaughan Sampson (1870–1952), who had entered graduate school in biology at Bryn Mawr the same year Morgan joined the faculty; she put aside her scientific work for 16 years of their marriage, when they had four children. Later she contributed significantly to Morgan's Drosophila work. One of their four children (one boy and three girls) was Isabel Morgan (1911–1996) (marr. Mountain), who became a virologist at Johns Hopkins, specializing in polio research.

Morgan was an atheist.[32][33][34][35]


1. "Thomas Morgan". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
2. Fisher, R. A.; De Beer, G. R. (1947). "Thomas Hunt Morgan. 1866-1945". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5 (15): 451–466. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1947.0011. JSTOR 769094.
3. "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1933". Nobel Web AB. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
4. Sturtevant (1959), p283.
5. Allen (1978), pp11-14, 24.
6. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan: The Man and His Science, pp 46-51
7. Kenney, D. E.; Borisy, G. G. (2009). "Thomas Hunt Morgan at the Marine Biological Laboratory: Naturalist and Experimentalist". Genetics. 181 (3): 841–846. doi:10.1534/genetics.109.101659. PMC 2651058. PMID 19276218.
8. Morgan, T. H. (1940). "Edmund Beecher Wilson. 1856-1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (8): 123–126. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0012.
9. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 50-53
10. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 55-59, 72-80
11. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 55-59, 80-82
12. Loeb, Jacques (1899). "On the Nature of the Process of Fertilization and the Artificial Production of Normal Larvae (Plutei) from the Unfertilized Eggs of the Sea Urchin". American Journal of Physiology. 31: 135–138. doi:10.1152/ajplegacy.1899.3.3.135. hdl:2027/hvd.32044107304297.
13. Loeb, Jacques (1913). Artificial parthenogenesis and fertilization. University of Chicago Press. jacques loeb sea urchin.
14. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 84-96
15. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 68-70
16. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan: The Man and His Science, pp 105-116
17. Kohler, Lords of the Fly, pp 37-43
18. Hamilton, Vivien (2016). "The Secrets of Life: Historian Luis Campos resurrects radium's role in early genetics research". Distillations. 2 (2): 44–45. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
19. Mader, Sylvia (2007). Biology Ninth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-07-325839-3.
20. Morgan, Thomas Hunt; Alfred H. Sturtevant, H. J. Muller and C. B. Bridges (1915). The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity. New York: Henry Holt.
21. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 208-213, 257-278. Quotation from p 213.
22. Kohler, Lords of the Fly, chapter 5
23. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 214-215, 285
24. Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, pp 227-234
25. Allen, Garland E. (2009). Ruse, Michael; Travis, Joseph (eds.). Evolution. The First Four Billion Years. Harvard University Press. p. 746. ISBN 9780674031753.
26. "I think we shall be justified in rejecting it as an explanation of the secondary sexual differences amongst animals", page 220-221, chapter VI, Evolution and Adaptation, 1903.
27. Chapter VII of Evolution and Adaptation, 1903.
28. Bowler, Peter (2003). Evolution. The History of an Idea. University of California Press. chapter 7.
29. A Critique of the Theory of Evolution, Princeton University Press, 1916, p. 193-194
30. A Critique of the Theory of Evolution, page 189.
31. Kandel, Eric. 1999. "Genes, Chromosomes, and the Origins of Modern Biology", Columbia Magazine
32. George Pendle (2006). Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 69. ISBN 9780156031790. The Nobel Prize-winning geneticist and stringent atheist Thomas Hunt Morgan was developing the chromosome theory of heredity by examining his swarm of mutated Drosophila (fruit flies) through a jeweler's loupe.
33. "Morgan's passion for experimentation was symptomatic of his general scepticism and his distaste for speculation. He believed only what could be proven. He was said to be an atheist, and I have always believed that he was. Everything I knew about him—his scepticism, his honesty—was consistent with disbelief in the supernatural." Norman H. Horowitz, T. H. Morgan at Caltech: A Reminiscence, Genetics, Vol. 149, 1629-1632, August 1998, Copyright © 1998.
34. Judith R. Goodstein. "The Thomas Hunt Morgan Era in Biology" (PDF). Retrieved 28 April2019.
35. Horowitz, Norman H. (1 August 1998). "T. H. Morgan at Caltech: A Reminiscence". Genetics. 149 (4): 1629–1632. PMC 1460264. PMID 9691024.

Further reading

• Allen, Garland E. (1978). Thomas Hunt Morgan: The Man and His Science. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08200-6.
• Allen, Garland E. (2000). "Morgan, Thomas Hunt". American National Biography. Oxford University Press.
• Kohler, Robert E. (1994). Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-45063-5.
• Shine, Ian B; Sylvia Wrobel (1976). Thomas Hunt Morgan: Pioneer of Genetics. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-0095-X.
• Stephenson, Wendell H. (April 1946). "Thomas Hunt Morgan: Kentucky's Gift to Biological Science". Filson Club History Quarterly. 20 (2). Retrieved 2012-02-22.[permanent dead link]
• Sturtevant, Alfred H. (1959). "Thomas Hunt Morgan". Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. 33: 283–325.

External links

• Nobel Prize Biography
• Thomas Hunt Morgan Biological Sciences Building at University of Kentucky
• Thomas Hunt Morgan
• Thomas Hunt Morgan — Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences
• Works by Thomas Hunt Morgan at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Thomas Hunt Morgan at Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:44 am

Human Betterment Foundation
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

As to the practical benefits certain to result from eugenic reforms, the sterilization experiment has been soberly advocated and wisely pursued in the United States, and the world will owe much to your country for the lead given in this direction. And, in this connection, the Human Betterment Foundation of California calls for special mention. Up till now, all such endeavors to stamp out defective heredity have been applied only to the grossly defective; and this limitation has probably been wise whilst eugenics was yet young. Racial deterioration is, however, I fully believe, taking place amongst us in such a way as to affect society as a whole; and, if this be so, the cure should be as widespread as the disease. Many methods, including voluntary sterilization stimulated by some carefully regulated pressure, must be utilized in the future in order to lessen the rate of multiplication of the lower half of humanity, and in this endeavor I hope to see America also playing a leading part.

-- What is Eugenics?, by Leonard Darwin

1938 HBF pamphlet titled "Human Sterilization Today".
A publication of the HUMAN BETTERMENT FOUNDATION, Pasadena, Calif.
During the last twenty-eight years, California state institutions have sterilized nearly 12,000 insane and feebleminded patients.
The following pages embody results shown by a case-study of the first 10,000 of these sterilizations.
This sterilization is a surgical operation, which prevents parenthood without in any way or degree unsexing the patient, or impairing his or her health. It merely cuts and seals the tubes through which the germ cells -- the spermatozoa and ova, -- must pass. It is wholly different, therefore, from the crude and brutal operations of castration and asexualization, performed for the selfish purposes of the perpetrators. Primitive and pagan peoples castrated boys to produce eunuchs. Roman Catholics continued the practice until modern times, to provide male soprano voices for their cathedral choirs. Unlike these practices, modern sterilization is not a mutilation in any sense of the word.
In men, the operation (vasectomy) can be performed under a local anaesthetic in fifteen or twenty minutes, and in light work occasions no loss of time. In women, the operation (salpingectomy) involving the opening of the abdomen, is comparable to an uncomplicated operation for chronic appendicitis, which means a week or two in bed. In either sex, failures are almost unknown.

The Human Betterment Foundation (HBF) was an American eugenics organization established in Pasadena, California in 1928 by E.S. Gosney with the aim "to foster and aid constructive and educational forces for the protection and betterment of the human family in body, mind, character, and citizenship". It primarily served to compile and distribute information about compulsory sterilization legislation in the United States, for the purposes of eugenics.

The initial board of trustees were Gosney, Henry M. Robinson (a Los Angeles banker), George Dock (a Pasadena physician), David Starr Jordan (chancellor of Stanford University), Charles Goethe (a Sacramento philanthropist), Justin Miller (dean of the college of law at the University of Southern California), Otis Castle (a Los Angeles attorney), Joe G. Crick (a Pasadena horticulturist), and biologist/eugenicist Paul Popenoe. Later members included Lewis Terman (a Stanford psychologist best known for creating the Stanford-Binet test of IQ), Robert Millikan (Chair of the Executive Council of Caltech), William B. Munro (a Harvard professor of political science), and University of California, Berkeley professors Herbert M. Evans (anatomy) and Samuel J. Holmes (zoology).

After Gosney's death in 1942, Gosney's daughter Lois Castle and the HBF's board liquidated HBF with its funds going to form the Gosney research fund at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1943. The archives of the Human Betterment Foundation are in Special Collections at Caltech in Pasadena.

See also

• American Eugenics Society
• British Eugenics Society
• Eugenics in the United States
• Society for Biodemography and Social Biology


• "The Human Betterment Foundation," editorial reprinted from Eugenics, Vol. 3, No. 3: 110–113, in Collected papers on eugenic sterilization in California (Pasadena: Human Betterment Foundation, 1930).
• E.S. Gosney and Paul B. Popenoe, Sterilization for human betterment: A summary of results of 6,000 operations in California, 1909–1929 (New York: Macmillan, 1929).

External links

• Eugenic Science in California: The Papers of E. S. Gosney and the Human Betterment Foundation
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:53 am

E. S. Gosney [Ezra Seymour Gosney]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

Philanthropist and eugenicist E.S. Gosney.

Ezra Seymour Gosney (November 6, 1855 – September 14, 1942) was an American philanthropist and eugenicist. In 1928 he founded the Human Betterment Foundation (HBF) in Pasadena, California, with the stated aim "to foster and aid constructive and educational forces for the protection and betterment of the human family in body, mind, character, and citizenship," primarily through the advocacy of compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded.


Gosney was born in Kenton County, Kentucky in 1855, and received a degree in law from the Saint Louis University School of Law in 1880. He settled in Flagstaff, Arizona where he was involved in the establishment of a Wool Grower's Association. Around 1905 he relocated to Southern California, eager to escape the "wild west" environment still present in Arizona while raising two daughters. There he became an active participant in the Pasadena, California business community, especially in the acquisition of citrus and other agricultural crops. Around this time he also became active in the establishment of the first California council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also donated $12,500 to Polytechnic School in 1907 to found the school. By the 1920s he had built up a considerable fortune, owned one of the largest lemon groves in the state, and served as the director of numerous banks, trusts companies, and corporations.

While working in Pasadena he became acquainted with the biologist and eugenicist Paul B. Popenoe, and in 1925 Gosney financed Popenoe's collection of data on the implementation of California's eugenic compulsory sterilization laws. At the time, compulsory sterilization was seen by many as a way to reduce the incidence of mental illness and mental retardation in the population over time. Many states had legislation requiring the sterilization of patients at state-run psychiatric facilities, though only California executed the laws in earnest, as most other state officials were wary about the legal status of compulsory sterilization legislation.

The result of Gosney and Popenoe's research was a co-authored volume, Sterilization for Human Betterment
: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909–1929, completed and published in 1929. The book sought to argue that eugenic sterilization was scientifically supported, caused no harm to patients, and was legally sound. The book, distributed widely by Gosney, was used to promote compulsory sterilization legislation in other states and countries, and along with work by Harry H. Laughlin was one of the most influential texts on sterilization in the United States. Gosney and Popenoe's book was specifically referenced by officials in Nazi Germany in the creation of their own sterilization legislation in 1933 as having provided them with proof that sterilization programs could be safe and effective. According to a U.S. health official at the time who had just returned from a trip to Germany, "the leaders in the German sterilization movement state repeatedly that their legislation was formulated only after careful study of the California experiment." (quoted in Kühl 1994, p. 42-43) Gosney and Popenoe believed the population of mentally ill in the United States could be reduced by half in "three or four generations." The Sacramento philanthropist/eugenicist Charles Goethe wrote to Gosney in a letter from 1934:

You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought and particularly by the work of the Human Betterment Foundation. I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people. (quoted in Black 2003)

A follow-up study, Twenty-eight Years of Sterilization in California was published by the pair in 1938 (the American Journal of Sociology reviewed it with a single sentence: "An awkward attempt to popularize the practice of sterilizing defectives"). The state of California would eventually sterilize over 20,000 patients in state-run hospitals under its eugenic laws; Nazi Germany would sterilize over 400,000.

In 1926, Gosney first began to organize what would by 1928 become chartered as the Human Betterment Foundation as a philanthropic foundation to promote research and advocacy of eugenics, especially by means of sterilization. As Gosney put it, the Foundation would work for:

the advancement and betterment of human life, character, and citizenship, particularly in the United States of America, in such manner as shall make for human progress in life. It is not the primary intention of to engage in the care of the unfortunate or in any form of relief work, but rather to foster and aid constructive and educational efforts for the protection and betterment of human family in body, mind, character, and citizenship in life. (Gosney and Popenoe 1929, p.192)

The initial board of trustees were Gosney, Henry M. Robinson (a Los Angeles banker), George Dock (a Pasadena physician), David Starr Jordan (chancellor of Stanford University), Justin Miller (dean of the college of law at the University of Southern California), Otis Castle (a Los Angeles attorney), Joe G. Crick (a Pasadena horticulturist), Goethe, and Popenoe. Later members included Lewis Terman (a Stanford psychologist best known for creating the Stanford-Binet test of IQ), William B. Munro (a Harvard professor of political science), and University of California, Berkeley professors Herbert M. Evans (anatomy) and Samuel J. Holmes (zoology).

The Foundation also established links with the California Institute of Technology, with Nobel Prize-winning Caltech physicist Robert Millikan joining the board of the HBF in 1937.
The Foundation published a number of pamphlets and financed continued studies of the California sterilization program through the 1930s, and sent thousands of letters to teachers, libraries, and physicians advocating eugenic sterilization. It also underwrote a column in the Los Angeles Times on "social eugenics" and financed a radio program as well as hundreds of popular lectures around the country. Along with the American Eugenics Society, it was the most active and influential eugenics advocacy group in the country.

Upon Gosney's death in 1942, his daughter liquidated the Foundation and donated its remaining assets to Caltech, which in 1943 established a Gosney research fund for biological research using the money. The archives of the Human Betterment Foundation are in Special Collections at Caltech in Pasadena.

See also

• Eugenics in the United States


• "The Human Betterment Foundation," editorial reprinted from Eugenics, Vol. 3, No. 3: 110-113, in Collected papers on eugenic sterilization in California (Pasadena: Human Betterment Foundation, 1930).
• Edwin Black, "Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection", San Francisco Chronicle (9 November 2003). For the full Goethe quote, go here.
• E.S. Gosney and Paul B. Popenoe, Sterilization for human betterment: A summary of results of 6,000 operations in California, 1909–1929 (New York: Macmillan, 1929).
• Kühl, Stefan (1994). The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508260-5.
• Reilly, Philip R. (1987). "Involuntary Sterilization in the United States: A Surgical Solution". Quarterly Review of Biology. 62 (2): 153–170. doi:10.1086/415404. JSTOR 2829217. PMC 1682199.

External links

• Information about Gosney and the HBF papers collection in Caltech
• Another picture of Gosney (Caltech Archives)
• HBF Collection at Caltech
• Eugenics Archive images relating to compulsory sterilization (contains picture of and letters from Gosney)
• "Human Sterilization"[permanent dead link] – 1934 pamphlet published by the Human Betterment Foundation
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:08 am

Paul Popenoe
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/20/20

Paul B. Popenoe in 1915

Paul Bowman Popenoe (October 16, 1888 – June 19, 1979) was an American agricultural explorer and eugenicist. He was an influential advocate of the compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and the mentally disabled, and the father of marriage counseling in the United States.


Born Paul Bowman Popenoe in Topeka, Kansas in 1888, he was the son of Marion Bowman Popenoe and Frederick Oliver Popenoe, a pioneer of the avocado industry. (Popenoe dropped his middle name early in life.) He moved to California as a teen. After attending Occidental College for two years and Stanford University for his Junior year (Majoring in English with coursework in biology), Popenoe left school to care for his father and worked for several years as a newspaper editor. He then worked briefly as an agricultural explorer collecting date specimens in Western Asia and Northern Africa for his father's nursery in California, along with his younger brother Wilson Popenoe, a horticulturist. These travels received considerable support and interest from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.[1] Paul Popenoe published his first book Date Growing in the Old World and the New in 1913.

In the mid-1910s Popenoe became interested in human breeding, editing the Journal of Heredity from 1913 until 1917, with a special attention to eugenics and social hygiene.

By 1918, Popenoe had become well-established enough to co-author (with Roswell Hill Johnson) a popular college textbook on eugenics (Applied Eugenics, edited by Richard T. Ely), which outlined his vision of a eugenics program that primarily relied on the segregation of "waste humanity" into rural institutions where they would perform manual labor to offset the cost of their institutionalization. He was opposed to child labor on the belief that banning such labor would reduce the size of families he regarded as unfit members of society.[2] Additionally, Applied Eugenics contains a chapter expounding on Popenoe's belief in the racial inferiority of black people.

“ An elementary knowledge of the history of Africa, or the more recent and much-quoted example of Haiti, is sufficient to prove that the Negro's own social heritage is at a level far below that of the whites among whom he is living in the United States.... The Negro race is germinally lacking in the higher developments of intelligence.[3] ”

During World War I Popenoe was inducted into the officer corps of the United States Army. Under the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities, he was charged with rooting out liquor and prostitution in an effort to reduce the high incidence of venereal disease amongst U.S. troops.[4]

Paul Popenoe married Betty Stankowitch in New York on 23 August 1920. They remained married until her death on 26 June 1978.

In the mid-1920s, Popenoe began working with E.S. Gosney, a wealthy California financier, and the Human Betterment Foundation to promote eugenic policies in the state of California. In 1909, California had enacted its first compulsory sterilization law which allowed for sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded in its state psychiatric hospitals. With Popenoe as his scientific workhorse, Gosney intended to study the sterilization work being done in California and use it to advocate sterilization in other parts of the country and in the world at large. This would culminate in a number of works, most prominently their joint-authored Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929 in 1929. This work would become a popular text for the advocacy of sterilization, as it purported to be an objective study of the operations in the state and concluded, not surprisingly, that rigorous programs for the sterilization of the "unfit" were beneficial to all involved, including the sterilized patients. During the 1930s he served as a member of the American Eugenics Society's board of directors along with Charles B. Davenport, Henry H. Goddard, Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, and Gosney, among others.

In 1929 he received an honorary Sc.D. degree from Occidental College, which he previously attended. Thenceforth, he commonly referred to himself as "Dr. Popenoe". In 1976, Popenoe also received the Auld Lang Syne award from Occidental. Nevertheless, in 2019 after a unanimous vote of its board of trustees on April 26 of that year, Occidental rescinded the honorary Sc.D. degree.[5] Leading up to this vote, Occidental professor Peter Dreier wrote an opinion article in March 2019 about the college's historical role in eugenics and racism, after which 86 percent of the college's faculty signed a statement urging the board to revoke the degree granted to Popenoe 90 years earlier.[6]

Along with his advocacy of sterilization programs, Popenoe was also interested in using the principles of German and Austrian marriage-consultation services for eugenic purposes. Aghast at the divorce rate in US society, Popenoe came to the conclusion that "unfit" families would reproduce out of wedlock, but truly "fit" families would need to be married to reproduce. With financial help from Gosney, he opened the American Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles in 1930. The Institute was described in 1960 as "the world's largest and best known marriage-counseling center" with a staff of seventy.[7]

“ One of the greatest dangers in the use of sterilization is that overzealous persons who have not thought through the subject will look at it as a cure-all, and apply it to all sorts of ends for which it is not adapted. It is only one of many measures the state can and must use to protect itself from [the human race's] deterioration.[8] ”

For a while, Popenoe's two major interests, eugenics and marriage counseling, ran parallel, and he published extensively on both topics. As public interest in eugenics waned, Popenoe focused more of his energies into marriage counseling, and by the time of the public rejection of eugenics at the end of World War II, with the revelation of the Nazi Holocaust atrocities, Popenoe had thoroughly redefined himself as primarily a marriage counselor (which by that time had lost most of its explicit eugenic overtones). Over time he became more prominent in the field of counseling.

Popenoe favored a popular—rather than academic—approach. In this vein, he appeared on the Art Linkletter television show for over a decade, and he regularly gave lectures and wrote mainstream articles for the general public. For many years he had a nationally syndicated newspaper column promoting marriage and family life. As presented in a 1960 biography, the focus areas of his counseling approach (and the American Institute of Family Relations) included couples' attitudes towards marriage, preparation (including sexuality education), moral values, a focus on action, and mutual understanding between the sexes.[7]

At the peak of his career, he co-founded and edited Ladies' Home Journal's most popular column of all time, "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" In 1960, he co-authored (with Dorothy Disney) the book of the same name. His introduction to the book catalogued some of the statistics of the American Institute of Family Relations over its first 30 years. Under his direction, the Institute gave intensive training to over 300 marriage counselors and shorter courses around the U.S. to over 1500 other people. The case load at that time averaged about 15,000 consultations per year. From the files of these numerous cases came the material for the "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" book and serial. The Institute published a bulletin entitled "Family Life" monthly or bimonthly for decades.[9]

“ [W]aste humanity taking waste land and thus not only contributing toward their own support, but also making over land that would otherwise be useless.[3] ”

Given the role of clergy in responding to crisis in families, Popenoe increased focus in training the clergy over many years. This culminated in 1978 with the American Institute of Family Relations creating the Pastoral Psychotherapy Training Program, which offered the Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychotherapy. This was the second offering of a master's degree by the Institute.[10]

As Popenoe maintained his traditional values (e.g., chastity before marriage), changes in popular culture such as feminism and sexual revolution challenged his approach. At the same time, thought leaders in the helping professions tended more and more to favor self-fulfillment over preservation of the family. This led Popenoe to ally increasingly with religious conservatives—even though he was not religious himself. For example, one of his assistants was James Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family in 1977. In contemporary US society of the third millennium, the approach Popenoe developed to marriage counseling—educational and directive rather than medical or psychological—is coming back into fashion.[4] In the end, the American Institute of Family Relations turned out to be highly dependent on Popenoe's leadership. It closed in the 1980s, not long after Paul Popenoe's death.

Popenoe died 19 June 1979 in Miami, Florida.


Shortly before his death, Popenoe transferred his papers to the University of Wyoming. In 2002, the American Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming reported the collection Paul Bowman Popenoe Papers, 1874-1991, consisting of 85 cubic feet of material.[11] The archives of the Human Betterment Foundation are in Special Collections at Caltech in Pasadena.


• Popenoe, Paul (1913). Date Growing in the Old World and the New. Altadena, CA: West India Gardens.
• Popenoe, Paul (1917). "The blind cave fish". Journal of Heredity. 8: 448–451.
• Popenoe, Paul; Johnson, Roswell Hill (1918). Applied Eugenics (First ed.). New York, NY, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (February 1922). "Costa Rica, the Land of the Banana". The National Geographic Magazine. 41 (2): 201–220.
• Popenoe, Paul (1925). Modern marriage: A handbook. New York, NY.
• Popenoe, Paul (1926). Problems of Human Reproduction. Baltimore, Maryland, US: The Williams & Wilkins Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1927). "Marriage rate among nurses". Eugenical News. 12 (1): 8.
• Popenoe, Paul (1927). "Back to Methuselah?". Scientific Monthly. 25: 535–539.
• Popenoe, Paul (1940) [1925]. Modern Marriage (Second ed.). New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1929). The Child's Heredity (First ed.). Baltimore, Maryland, US: The Williams & Wilkins Company.
• Gosney, E.S.; Popenoe, Paul (1929). Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1930). Practical applications of heredity. Baltimore, MD.
• Popenoe, Paul (1931). "Heredity and mental deficiency". Mental Hygiene. 15 (3): 570–575.
• Popenoe, Paul (1934). "The German Sterilization Law". Journal of Heredity. 25: 257–261.
• Popenoe, Paul; Gosney, E.S. (1938). Twenty-eight years of sterilization in California. Pasadena, CA: Human Betterment Foundation.
• Popenoe, Paul (1954). Sex - Happiness or Tragedy?. California, US: Samuel Newman Productions.
• Popenoe, Paul (1959). Bayless, Kenneth M. (ed.). Divorce--17 Ways to Avoid It. Martin, William H. Los Angeles, California, US: Trend Books, Incorporated. Trend Book No. 184.
• Duvall, Evelyn Millis; Mace, David R.; Popenoe, Paul (1964). The Church Looks at Family Life (First ed.). Nashville, Tennessee, US: Broadman Press. pp. 114–167. Library of Congress number: 64-21162.
• Ladd-Taylor, Molly (2001). "Eugenics, Sterilisation and Modern Marriage in the USA: The Strange Career of Paul Popenoe": 298–327.
• "Springing Into Action". Occidental magazine. June 5, 2019.
• Dreier, Peter (June 23, 2019). "Why Occidental College Revoked a 1929 Honorary Degree to White Supremacist Paul Popenoe". Public Seminar.

See also

• Eugenics in the United States
• Compulsory sterilization
• Relationship counseling


1. Wilson, Robert Forrest (November 1921). ""Uncle Sam's" Adventures". St. Nicholas, The Century Co., New York. 49 (1): 59–66.
2. "...the unfit poor would be unable to put their children to work and thus would have fewer children, a eugenic goal."Thomas C. Leonard, "Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era". Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 19, No. 4, Fall 2005, pp. 207–224
3. Popenoe, P.; Johnson, R H (1918). "Chapter XIV: The Color Line". Applied Eugenics. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
4. David Popenoe, War Over the Family, Transaction Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-7658-0259-7. Chapter 14: Remembering My Father: An Intellectual Portrait of "The Man Who Saved Marriages".
5. "Springing Into Action". Occidental magazine. June 5, 2019.
6. Dreier, Peter (June 23, 2019). "Why Occidental College Revoked a 1929 Honorary Degree to White Supremacist Paul Popenoe". Public Seminar.
7. Hoffman, Betty (September 1960). "The Man Who Saves Marriages". Ladies' Home Journal: 71, 120, 123–124.
8. Gosney, E.S.; Popenoe, Paul (1929). "Chapter 7: Voluntary Sterilization". Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company. p. 59. "Troublesome Delinquents" section
9. Popenoe, Paul; Disney, Dorothy Cameron (1960). Can This Marriage Be Saved? (First ed.). New York: The Macmillan Company. Library of Congress number: 60-8124.
10. Peacock, Edward (September–October 1979). "Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. Marriage". Family Life: Bi-monthly service bulletin of the American Institute of Family Relations: 2–8.
11. American Heritage Center Annual Report. Laramie, WY 82071: American Heritage Center – University of Wyoming. 2002. p. 12.

Further reading

• Anton, Mike, "Forced Sterilization Once Seen as Path to a Better World" Los Angeles Times (16 July 2003).
• Kline, Wendy, Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).
• Ladd-Taylor, Molly, "Eugenics, Sterilisation, and Modern Marriage in the USA: The Strange Career of Paul Popenoe," in Gender and History, vol. 13, no. 2 (August 2001), 298-327.
• Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Univ. of Vermont Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6. Lay summary (September 29, 2010).

External links

• Inventory of the Paul Bowman Popenoe papers, 1874-1991 at the University of Wyoming
• Works by Paul Popenoe at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Paul Popenoe at Internet Archive
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