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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/455

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MENTAL AND MORAL HEREDITY IN ROYALTY.

MENTAL AND MORAL HEREDITY IN ROYALTY. II.
By FREDERICK ADAMS WOODS, M. D.,

HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

Evidence from the House of Hohenzollern in Prussia.

Here we find a very different condition. Let us begin with the founder of the family's influence, Frederick William, the Great Elector of Brandenburg. The great elector (1620-1688) was a man of the highest attainment and force of character. He received his country in a very desolate condition and accomplished the greatest results with the least resources. He was one of the ablest men in Germany in his time. On looking up his pedigree one finds his father a weak scion of a family not then illustrious, his mother not much above mediocrity, but a granddaughter of William the Silent.

There is ever} r reason to believe that the great Elector was one of numerous geniuses descended from William the Silent, even if he did stand as far away from him as a great grandson. He was a first cousin of the famous Prince Rupert, and his two sisters were Sophia, Duchess of Brunswick (10), and Elizabeth of Palatine (9), a very profound intellect. This relationship was by the way of Frederick IV. of Palatine, who had married a daughter of William the Silent, by Anne, a daughter of Maurice of Saxony, a celebrated general.

Every union from now on to Frederick the Great brings in again the brilliant strain. Frederick William, the Great Elector, married a daughter of Frederick Henry, the distinguished stateholder (8). She was granddaughter of William the Silent (10), and great granddaughter of Caspard de Coligny, the great admiral of France (10). Their son, Frederick I. of Prussia, showed none of the genius, but he married a sister of George I., and therefore a daughter of the same great Duchess of Brunswick (10). Her father also was distinguished and ranks in 7 (Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover).

This queen of Frederick I. was Sophia Charlotte. She had high ideals and an important influence over political actions. She was really profoundly interested in astronomy, prehistoric remains and moral philosophy, and formed a warm friendship with Leibnitz. Von Heineman says she was generally called the 'Philosophical Queen.' She is placed in grade 8. Their only son was Frederick William I., a most remarkable character. He was not very intellectual and especially despised literature, but was a man of iron will with great ability in