Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


Less than a year before the formal founding of the ERO, Davenport gave a lecture at Yale University that summarized his position on the aims and the format of his brand of eugenics. He proposed a system that would survey family traits. Such a plan would "identify those lines which supply our families of great men." But studying the great families was only one goal of eugenics; Davenport also urged tracing the origins of "our 300,000 insane and feebleminded, our 160,000 blind or deaf, the 2,000,000 that are annually cared for by our hospitals and Homes, our 80,000 prisoners and thousands of criminals that are not in prison, and our 100,000 paupers in almshouses and out."