and Connecticut to determine the nature of the illness and if due to causes existing prior to landing. Chief among the contagious diseases were measles, chicken-pox, diphtheria and scarlet fever. The quarantinable diseases, cholera, leprosy, bubonic plague, smallpox, typhus and yellow fever are removed at the New York Quarantine Station before the vessels are docked.
Statistics such as these inevitably suggest a brief consideration of the different sources of immigration and their relative desirability from the medical standpoint. In general it may be said that the best class is drawn from northern and western Europe, and the poorest from the Mediterranean countries and western Asia. Among the worst are the Greeks, South Italians and the Syrians, who emigrate in large numbers. The Greeks offer a sad contrast to their ancient progenitors, as poor physical development is the rule among those who reach Ellis Island, and they have above their share of other defects.
The old question of the desirability of the Hebrew must be settled on other grounds than those of physical fitness alone, although even here the medical evidence is decidedly against him, as Dr. McLaughlin has shown that the proportion of defectives to total landed is greatest among the Syrians, 1 in 29, and next greatest among Hebrews, 1 in 42. Contrary to popular belief, the Jewish race is far from a pure stock, and has been colored by various and repeated admixtures with other bloods. Hence Jews of different nationalities differ considerably in their physical status and aptitude for American institutions, and for amalgamation
- McLaughlin, The Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 62, p. 234.