Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 359


MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, All you say in favour of Miss Elderton I am fully prepared to believe from my much less but still not inadequate knowledge of her. She most certainly ought to be retained if possible, as the far future working of the Laboratory will be much more hopeful if she continues in it.

My feelings about the Laboratory remain the same that they were two years ago when we had so much correspondence and I drew up a Codicil to my will to provide amply for its permanent establishment after my death and to pay for a professorship. I can't undertake to die soon in order to hurry on the endowment, but I have not the slightest desire to do otherwise than continue the present £500 a year so long as I live. I would increase it, by say £50, rather than reduce it, if it were clearly advisable to do so. It is worth considering whether Miss Elderton's position in the Laboratory might be altered, by hereafter calling her Secretary, and on the next occasion abolishing the Research Scholarship altogether. It would not do to promote her over Heron, but hereafter when his term terminates it might easily be done. Possibly you may think that the two duties of Secretary and Research Fellow might be worked simultaneously, but if so, it must be clear which of the two is the responsible head, and I do not see my way here. Anyhow on the next vacancy the promotion could easily be made. I am most sorry about the cruel lumbago. Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. December 15, 1908.

MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, Your letter gave me great pleasure this morning. We do not need more money, and above all things we want you to live to see the work you have set going reach more general acknowledgment. But what, I think, the younger workers, who really have worked hard and toiled forward against a good deal of outside (and even inside *) discouragement need is the knowledge that you reallycare for their work, and I think your letter really helps in that. You hardly realise how much they think of almost anything you do or say! Among the fourteen workers in the Biometric and Eugenics Laboratories at present we have five women and their work is equal at the very least to that of the men. I have to treat them as in every way the equals of the men. They are women who in many cases have taken higher academic honours than the men and who are intellectually their peers. They were a little tried therefore when your name appeared on the Committee of the Anti-suffrage Society! I refer to this merely to show that what you think and do does produce effect in the Laboratory, and therefore the knowledge, that you really care for their work helps us all round. I think that your approval accordingly counts for a great deal more than you realise. I know Miss Elderton is very keen on the work and wants to devote all her energies to it, but I am sure the feeling that you think she is doing good work weighs as much as or more than any opinion of mine. I ventured to tell her that she was indispensable and that there was no immediate fear for the life of the Laboratory. I can trust you to bear this in mind if anything should happen to me.

I have not forgotten your problem, but I wanted to have another talk with Heron over it, before I returned the sheet. Could you not write a note on it for Biometrika? It would be quite easy to get a table calculated for you. Bulloch came in to-day with 30 pedigrees of hermaphrodite families. One noteworthy point has come out in collecting this material-a disproportionate number of hermaphrodites, perhaps 25 p.c., are twins. This is a very noteworthy point indeed and deserves special investigation. I have heard of hermaphrodites in sheep; were these twins 7 Always affectionately, K. P.

Please excuse this handwriting, I am writing on my back.

* P.S. Only last week a lecturer in the College read a paper "On the influence of Heredity on Conduct," which consisted chiefly of abuse of the Eugenics laboratory work and workers.


MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, This is little more than a sincere Xmas greeting to you and yours. May that cruel lumbago keep its fangs off you. It is sometimes consoling to think of greater suffering than one's own, so imagine the feelings of the Chinaman who, humbly visiting his great superior on whom all his hope of advancement lay, when about to make his kow-tow was suddenly smitten with lumbago !

Previous Index Next