ID# 1115:
"Biological aspects of immigration," Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization
Date:
1920
Pages: (1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12)
Source:
The Harry H. Laughlin Papers, Truman State University, papers, C-2-6,6
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&quote;Biological aspects of immigration,&quote; Harry H. Laughlin testimony before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization

4 Biological Aspects of Immigration. minded, or a poorhouse and finds an individual inmate, not much can be told about the inborn quality of the subject unless the investigator can secure the family history in the inmate's home territory, and can find out from that source what sort of material the individual subject is made of, for example, whether he comes from an industrious or a shiftless family. It the prospective immigrant is a potential parent, that is, a sexually fertile person, then his or her admission should be dependent not merely upon present illiteracy, social qualifications and economic status, but also upon the possession in the prospective immigrant and in his family stock of such physical, mental, and moral qualities as the American people desire to be possessed inherently by its future citizenry. The importance of this condition of admission is driven home when we recall that immigrants are going to add to the breeding stock of the American people in greater proportion than their immigrant numbers bear to the total population, because statistics have shown that immigrant women are more prolific than our American women. Mr. Box. Can you give me that in comparative figures? I have been very much interested in that; for instance, can you state how many more children are usually born to the foreign-born women than to the American women? Mr. Laughlin. Yes, sir; I shall be glad to include these figures in a statement which I shall present later. Now, the immigrants ought to be made out of such stock that when they come to this country and are given the best of American opportunities and their children are given still better opportunities, their natural, physical, mental, moral qualities would respond to the democratic environment of equality and opportunity and that the possessors of those traits would develop into desirable citizens. You have all doubtless heard of the Jukes and Ishmaeis; our field workers went to Indiana to study degenerate families, and found a certain name (now called the Ishmaels) so common that they said there must be something wrong with that family. They began to study it scientifically. To the first questions people would respond: "Poor things, they have never had an opportunity." But on further investigation it was found that they were the kind who would steal the bishop's silver if they got a chance; they were in institutions, in prison, and in the poorhouse. They were traced back into Kentucky and found to be about the same there, and then traced back to Virginia, where the clue seems to indicate that they had been deported from England, as was the former custom in that country. As a case in point, from 1788 to 1840 England deported social undesirables to Boany Bay, near Sydney, Australia. Dr. Charles B. Davenport, of our association, reported that in 1914 Sydney had an excessively large slum district, populated to a considerable extent by the descendants of the Botany Bayers deported from England. That is one sort of study our association is making in immigration; we want to prevent any deterioration of the American people due to the immigration of inferior human stock. The Chairman. The two families you mentioned are who? Mr. Laughlin. The Jukes and the Ishmaels. Most of the Jukes are in New York State; they are a worthless, mentally backward family or tribe. You have to recognize the fact that although we

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