Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 361
of incapable citizens." But only an historian could do that and the Eugenics Laboratory is hardly the place for it. I have no comment other than complete acquiescence with your programme.
Miss Elderton comes here for a week-end on January 30th (I think), so I shall hear many details from her as to what is going on. I am glad that your lumbago, which you have borne so heroically*, is better, though maybe this cold snap of weather has been an enemy to you. Seasonable weather!! Stuff and nonsense-Give me the temperature of an incubator !
I can't think "Germinal Vitality" worth serious consideration. It would require much evidence from horticulturists and breeders to make it at all probable. His evidence is very lax.
I am very glad that St Andrews has asked Heron and that he will lecture. One of the professors there, Stanley Butler (of physics and mathematics), is a nephew of my Wife's and writes me to-day a letter practically about my book but evidently not forgetful of Eugenics. The white ducks of Lady Phillimore bad not red eyes so far as I noticed. Later. I had intended after getting through arrears of writing, to send a revised statement of my problem, but find myself too tired, so must postpone. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
(15) Events and Correspondence of 1909. In the pressure of work upon me during the years 1905-1909 I had scarcely noted the changes taking place in Francis Galton ; they were gradual, and so much of the old fire and suggestiveness remained that I did not fully realise how he was failing, though the failure was far more rapid on the physical than the mental side. Re-reading the letters that passed between us in the year 1909, it now seems to me clear that he passed another milestone on the decurrent highway of old age in his 87th year. The only published writings of Galton that I can find for this year are the following
(i) A brief Introductory Note to the Treasury of Human Inheritance. The letters of this year will indicate how keen was Galton's interest in this work. It was designed on a comprehensive scale, and was intended to provide data for the measurement of all phases of human heredity by pedigrees indicating the transmission of ability, mental superiority and defect, physical and pathological characters in stirps. It has now, 1930, reached its third large quarto volume, but the cost of the photographic and pedigree plates and the need of funds to pay contributors have sadly hampered its progress. Occupation could be found in this direction for at least half-a-dozen thoroughly trained workers, but while endowments are always forthcoming for the maintenance of the unsound, there is so far little enthusiasm for building up our knowledge of why the unsound come into existence'. The idea of the Treasury was not Galton's, but it met with his full sympathy, and the early costs of publication were defrayed from his grant to the University of London. His prefatory note runs thus
" The Inheritance of Qualities in Families lies at the basis of the Science of Eugenics, and though much is known about it a much fuller inquiry is urgently needed than has hitherto been possible. Goodness and badness of physique, constitution and abilities are distributed in similar proportions among individuals in successive generations, but the chain-work of hereditary influences through which this is effected has been most inadequately recorded. The facts of Family
* Fortunately Galton was not present to hear his future biographer's language !
t Honourable exception must be made of the Committee for Medical Research, which has by its grants enabled the Galton Laboratory to carry forward the section of the Treasury dealing with the inheritance of eye-defects.
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