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History of Eugenics

From animal breeding to human breeding

Gina Maranto

on 7 October 2009

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Transcript of History of Eugenics

History of Eugenics
18th century British domestic
animals bred for selected traits
Hugh Watson of Keillor was one of the founders of the breed. He lived in the vale of Strathmore in Angus. At 19 when he started out farming his father gave him six of the best and blackest cows as well as a bull. That same summer he visited some of the leading Scottish cattle markets and purchased the 10 best heifers and the best bull that he could find that showed characteristics of the Angus cattle that he was striving to breed. The females were of various colours but the bull was black; Watson decided that the colour of his herd should be black so he started selecting in that direction. His favourite bull was Old Jock 126, who was awarded the number "1" in the Herd Book at the time it was founded. The bull was bred in 1842 and was sired by Grey-Breasted Jock 113. The bull was apparently used very heavily in the herd from 1843 till 1852 and was awarded the sweepstakes for bulls at the Highland Society Show at Perth in 1852 when he was 11 yrs old. Watson also had a very famous cow called Old Granny 125 who was calved in 1824 but was killed by lightening when past 35 yrs of age. She is reported to have produced a total of 29 calves, 11 of which were registered in the Herd Book.
Charles Darwin

Published Origin of Species in
Francis Galton, cousin of
Charles Darwin, at Cambridge

Published "Hereditary
Genius" in 1869. Founder
of eugenics.
"There is nothing either in the
history of domestic animals or
in that of evolution to make us
doubt that [through eugenics]
a race of sound men may be
formed who shall be as much
superior mentally and morally
to the modern European, as
the modern European is to
the lowest of the Negro races."
Cesare Lombroso
Published L'uomo
delinquente (Criminal
Man) in 1876. Believed
"moral imbeciles" could
be identified by their
physical features.
Lombroso thought
retreating foreheads,
small heads, hairiness,
projecting jaws, patchy
beards, and large ears
showed that a person was
a criminal. He even thought
you could tell what type of
criminal a person was or
would be--thief, prostitute,
forger, etc.
In London,
Karl Pearson
setting up
the Eugenics
Record Office
and spreading
the "gospel"
of "scientific
Charles Davenport outside the Eugenics
Record Office with his assistant Harry
Laughlin (left). They were the point men for eugenics in America from 1910 on, fighting
to ban immigrants and eliminate the "feebleminded," or "submerged tenth"
of the population.
Duluth, Minn.
Three black
circus workers
lynched by
a mob
New Orleans, LA

11 Sicilian
immigrants killed
in largest mass
lynching in US
Henry Goddard and other
eugenicists identified
families like the Jukes
and Kallikaks who
supposedly represented
"inferior" blood and
produced "defectives."
Goddard campaigned for
laws that enabled states
to forcibly sterilize
such people. By 1935, 28
states had sterilized
thousands of people,
possibly 30,000 in
California alone.
From his outpost at Cold Spring Harbor, Davenport waged a campaign to track the hereditary background
of as many Americans as possible.
Mostly women, his field-workers
fanned out to every state, going
door-to-door to interview families
and create family trees, marking
feeblemindedness, pauperism,
alocolism, tuberculosis (which was
believed to be inherited), and other signs of "defectiveness".
Eugenics pavilion at a state fair, 1920s

Fitter Family winners
1927 state fair.
Large Family winners
Texas State Fair,
Goddard and others
identified supposed
grades of "inferiority" from
"idiot" at the lowest end to "moron" at the
“It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind...Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” --Supreme Court Justice
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell, 1927
1994 best-seller by Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray arguing that differences in intelligence are innate and that blacks are intellectually inferior.
Inferior heritage penetrates into a village
1934, Canada
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