ID# 1751:
C.B. Davenport response to T.J. Harris, about hereditary genius (4/6/1934)
Pages: 1 of 1
Cold Spring Harbor, ERO, Davenport, 1933-34

1751. April 6, 1934. Dr. Thomas J. Harris, 104 East 40th Street, New York, N. Y. Dear Doctor Harris: The most exhaustive study of the inheritance of genius is the work done in California by Miss Cox and others. I will add more precise information at the bottom of this letter. It is often true that geniuses were men of overpowering ambition, and were so devoted to carrying out their ambitions in other fields that they paid little attention to reproduction of their kind. Napoleon had one son, as I suppose you know, who died early. On the other hand, we have the Roger Perry family of naval officers, which was a fairly large one, although apparently somewhat declines at the present time. There are another few instances of families of actors, like the Joseph Jefferson family which have produced geniuses in several generations. The Adams family of Massachusetts is showing continuation of geniuses. I think one can hardly state that genius is not transmitted, although, as I say, these line which show extraordinary genius are often relatively sterile. It would give me great pleasure to have a visit from you at our laboratory at your convenience. Please let me know in advance when you plan to come so that I may be sure to be here. Sincerely yours, Chas. B. Davenport, Director. D:A [end]
Copyright 1999-2004: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; American Philosophical Society; Truman State University; Rockefeller Archive Center/Rockefeller University; University of Albany, State University of New York; National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument; University College, London; International Center of Photography; Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem; and Special Collections, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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