Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/88

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permanently established in an institution for the care of mental defectives. The field is new and full of promise and the movement is rapidly growing in value and influences. This institution has comparatively few children (390 in all) and many of these come from wealthy families whose ancestry is known or from families who have lived in New Jersey for several generations. There are few communities of such stable population and so much inter-family marriage.

Institutional life and training is inferior, most of us will agree, to that of even a mediocre or low-grade home, but there are at least two groups of individuals who are exceptions to this general rule, the feeble minded and the insane. Both are par excellence individuals of state concern and state protection because they are incapable of self-direction, self-control or self-support. The defectives, who are by-products of unfinished humanity, belong in institutions where they may be cared for, made happy and to some extent useful, and where they may be studied for the betterment of civilization.

Lines of Investigation at Vineland

Dr. H. H. Goddard, Superintendent Johnstone and their field workers, are spending much time at present on the problem of eugenics—study of heredity. The home of each inmate has been carefully canvassed in order to get data which may throw light on the problem of heredity. What has been the result? Three concrete cases will suffice to indicate general tendencies.

1. An alcoholic insane paternal grandfather, a tuberculous cancerous maternal grandmother, imbecile mother with feeble-minded sister married to imbecile father. Result: Five feeble-minded children, one dead, one in custody, all the rest at large.

2. An insane father, a feeble-minded mother, seven children all mentally deficient; one in proper custody, one married, three in almshouse with mother.

3. A feeble-minded paternal grandmother, a neurotic maternal grandfather, an alcoholic father, a neurotic mother with a "queer" sister; ten children, eight feeble-minded children, two uncertain; one of this family in proper custody.

All of the children indicated "in custody" are at Vineland.

Proper care of the feeble-minded and epileptics would prevent this dangerous class from running at large and would help to solve the fundamental problem of the causes of mental deficiency (Figs. 2 and 3).

What are the controlling conditions of heredity? What are the results? The accompanying heredity charts which have been marked out with great care indicate controlling tendencies and suggest the question, Is Mendel's Law of Heredity, which has been proved for plants and animals, applicable to human beings? This is another important