The Hill Folk Report on a Rural Community of Hereditary Defectives, 1912 (Classic Reprint)


(as of 06/23/2018 at 08:43 UTC)


Excerpt from The Hill Folk Report on a Rural Community of Hereditary Defectives, 1912

This memoir is the first of a projected series which is intended to embody some of the more extended researches of the Eugenics Record Office, especially such as, on account of extensive pedigree charts, require a page of large size. Against the inconvenience of the quarto size has to be balanced the very practical necessity of a large surface to show relationships in a great network.

The present memoir is a study of a rural community of a sort familiar to sociologists in the work of Dugdale and of McCulloch in this country. The work began in connection with studies on the pedigree of some inmates of the Monson State Hospital, at Palmer, Mass. Miss Danielson was assigned by the Eugenics Record Office to work at that institution under the direction of its Superintendent, Dr. Everett Flood. Dr. Flood gave Miss Danielson every facility for prosecuting this inquiry, and took the broad stand that it is quite as desirable to make an extensive study of all the connections of an epileptic subject as to make numerous brief pedigrees of a much larger number of inmates. This memoir is the product of such an extended inquiry. The thanks of the Record Office, and, I am sure, of all students of human heredity and of sociologists, are gratefully offered to Dr. Flood, as well as to the trustees of the Hospital, of whom it may not be invidious particularly to mention Dr. W. N. Bullard, chairman of the Board.

The primary value of this memoir is, it must be confessed, to the sociologist rather than to the student of inheritance of human traits. Our field work of the first year has hardly risen to the point of analysis required for a study of heredity. This work will take much more time and will come later. But the sociological importance is clear. We are dealing with a rural community such as can be found in nearly if not quite every county in the older states of the union, in which nearly all of the people belong to the vague class of the “feeble-minded” – the incapable. The individuals vary much in capacity, a result which follows from the complexity of their germ plasm. Some have capacities that can be developed under proper conditions, but for many more even the best of environmental conditions can do little. They must remain a drag on our civilization; a condition for which not they, but society, is responsible. It is to be hoped that a presentation of the facts will hasten the so much desired control by society of the reproduction of the grossly defective.

All of the field work on which the report is based, the preparation of the charts, and the writing of the major portion of the text, including all of the tabular matter and the Appendix are the work of Miss Danielson. Grateful acknowledgment is made of the financial assistance of Mr. John D. Rockefeller in the publication of this report. The expense of the study was borne in part by the Monson State Hospital and in part by Mrs. E. H. Harriman.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Hill Folk Report on a Rural Community of Hereditary Defectives, 1912 (Classic Reprint)”