Eugenics – The Nature of the Beast

January 16, 1926
Dr. T. J. Allen Supt., State School for Feeble Minded
Brandon, Vermont

Dear Dr. Allen:

I wish to hand you a brief summary of the present status of our Vermont Eugenics Survey.

Miss Abbott has spent approximately half of her time since she began her field work in a study of the record of inmates of the Vermont Industrial School and the School for Feeble‐Minded. She is now finishing up that part of the study of those two institutions and next proposes to go to work at Waterbury. The other half of her time has been spent in following up the cases to their homes in an effort to get at their immediate environment and some of the information as to the number of the family, the mental status of any relatives to whom she has access, and considerable other data which is apt to come to light in any close examination of the home conditions.

Miss Abbott is using for the purposes of this study a system of blank forms modified from some which have been found useful in other similar surveys. I shall enclose copies of these forms for your examination, or send them within a few days.

It has been possible to make some fairly satisfactory family record charts from the material gathered so far, and it is expected that the results of the study to be conducted at the other institutions will add information that can go down on these same charts, because no doubt collateral branches of these same families whose charts are now being compiled will be found represented amongst the inmates in Waterbury or Windsor, even if no brothers, sisters or parents are found to be there at present.

You will, be pleased to learn that Mrs. Emily P. Eggleston of Berkeley, California, who is the donor of the $5,000 for the years study, has offered to contribute another $2500 to be available June 1 for this same year’s work. It may not be necessary or wise to use it all, but I submit the following recommendations upon which I should very much appreciate your opinion, i.e. that as much as is necessary of the additional $2500 be expended for a furthering of the purpose of the survey in the following two ways:

A. The employment of a full‐time clerk, and B. The purchase of an inexpensive car.

Miss Abbott would be able to use the services of an experienced stenographer at from $60 to $75 a month in a variety of ways. It would be possible for Miss Abbott to turn over to her a great deal of the computing, tabulating, and filling out of blank forms, which has been taking a large part of her own time. She could take her into the field as an assistant, and use her for the jotting down of notes on the spot in her visits to the institutions and homes. She could train her to do some of the simpler work of inquiry, checking up the statements of persons interviewed, examining the records of poor Masters, Town clerks, etc.

The use of a car which could be purchased second‐hand and sold without complete loss, at any rate, at the close of the Survey, would make it possible to make quick trips to a number of places which are otherwise hard to get at. Miss Abbott found the use of her own car of great advantage in connection with her earlier work with the Children’s Aid Society.

I shall greatly appreciate your kindness in giving me your vote on the question:‐‐ “Shall we authorize the Director of the Survey to expend the $2500 in accordance with the above recommendations?’

Very truly yours,
[H. F. Perkins]

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One comment on “Eugenics – The Nature of the Beast

  1. healthiestbeauty says:

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

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