A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana by Paul A. Lombardo

By Paul A. Lombardo

In 1907, Indiana handed the world's first involuntary sterilization legislations according to the speculation of eugenics. In time, greater than 30 states and a dozen overseas international locations go well with. even if the Indiana statute used to be later declared unconstitutional, different legislation limiting immigration and regulating marriage on "eugenic" grounds have been nonetheless in influence within the U.S. as past due because the Nineteen Seventies. A Century of Eugenics in the United States assesses the heritage of eugenics within the usa and its prestige within the age of the Human Genome undertaking. The essays discover the early aid of obligatory sterilization by way of medical professionals and legislators; the implementation of eugenic schemes in Indiana, Georgia, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Alabama; the felony and social demanding situations to sterilization; and the clients for a eugenics move basing its claims on sleek genetic technological know-how.

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Frank Hanly, February 8, 1908, “Temporary File: Governor Marshall Papers in Regards to Sterilization,” Indiana State Archives, Indianapolis. ╇Gugliotta, “‘Dr. Sharp with His Little Knife,’” 396–400. ╇Sharp to Marshall, May 13, 1909, Temporary File: Governor Marshall Papers in Regards to Sterilization, Indiana State Archives. ╇ William O’Keefee to Marshall, January 12, 1909, Temporary File: Governor Marshall Papers in Regards to Sterilization, Indiana State Archives; Jason S. Lantzer and Alexandra M.

Dugdale and the Jukes Family: A Historical Injustice Corrected,” Bioscience 30 (1980): 535–39. See also Henry M. Boies, Prisoners and Paupers (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893). Boies accepted the view that criminals and the poor represented instances of hereditary degeneracy. ╇ David Wolfers and Helen Wolfers, Vasectomy and Vasectomania (St. Albans, UK: Mayflower Books, 1974). This polemical book gives a good overview of the procedure’s development in Europe and then in the United States.

For his pacifist eugenics, see Jordan and Harvey Ernest Jordan, War’s Aftermath: A Preliminary Study of the Eugenics of War (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914). ╇ Sharp’s reports to the governor (1896–1912) are included in the biannual Communication of the State Prison Reformatory at Jeffersonville; copies may be found in the Herman B Wells Library. ╇ S. A. J. Ochsner, “Surgical Treatment of Habitual Criminals,” Journal of the American Medical Association 32 (1899): 867–68. ╇ Harry C. Sharp, “Vasectomy as a Means of Preventing Procreation in Defectives,” Journal of the American Medical Association 53 (1909): 1897–1902.

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