372 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
London University but the other universities (i) that Eugenics is a Science and that our research work is of the highest type and as reliable and sober as any piece of physiological or chemical work, (ii) that we *re running no hobby and have no end in view but the truth. If these things can be carried out we shall have founded a science to which statesmen and social reformers can appeal for marshalled facts. If our youthful efforts were mixed up in any way with the work of Havelock Ellis, Slaughter or Saleeby, we should kill all chance of founding Eugenics as an academic discipline. Please don't think I am narrow, or that I do not admit that these men have done or may do good work. All I say is that I could not get the help we are getting from the medical profession, from pathologists or physiologists, if we were supposed to be specially linked up with these names. Rightly or wrongly it would kill Eugenics as an academic study. All I want is to stand apart doing our scientific work, not in any way hostile to the Eugenics Education Society, giving it any facts we can or an occasional lecture, but not being specially linked to it in any manner. For this reason I am rather sorry that D. has gone on to its Council, because it makes a link, which I think it is better for Laboratory and Society not to forge-it will hamper the freedom of both. My policy, however, with my young people is to show them my own standpoint, but in no way to control their action. Unofficially and privately I shall always be ready to aid the Society. Yours affectionately, KARL PEARSON.
I think we have a' copy of the Feeble-Minded Report, but it is needless to say that we shall hail your gift if we have not. I know that Miss Barrington has been at work on the pedigrees in it.
I am in a state of most irrepressible excitement ! I believe I am on the track of a farreaching clue, namely the effect of presence or absence of internal pigment, especially that of the brain centres in mammals. I think it is going to explain why deaf-mutism, imbecility and albinism occur in the same stocks. Don't reveal my secrets ! But I believe the ordinary albino has internal pigment; the imbecile lacks at one or more brain centres internal, but he does not lack external pigment, and the deaf-mute lacks pigment in the membrane of the perilymph chamber, the "retina" so to speak of the ear. The imbecile deaf-mute albino, who spins like a waltzing mouse, lacks pigment everywhere. The waltzing mouse is a partial albino. The partial albino cat with blue eye and white coat is a deaf-mute. The wall-eyed horse tends to " spin." The perishing of the internal pigments of the brain leads to senile insanity. Most of us lose only our external pigment with age. Everything fits in and it ought to give a grand connected theory of degeneracy. Of course it may all prove a dream ! On Friday night there was an autopsy on an albino and much may turn on it, if the internal pigments are shown to be there. Mott is examining the pigmented centres in the brains of imbeciles and deaf-mutes for me. Of course my hypotheses may all collapse, but so far it seems to be the first connected theory of why imbecility, albinism and deaf-mutism run in the same stocks. I expected that imbeciles might "spin," and I find from inquiry that the "spinning imbecile" is a known type. There is an American at Colney Hatch, Mott tells me, who continually spins like a whirling Dervish. I shall put that down, if my theory works out as akin to Hamilton's prediction of the " conical points " of the wave surface ! Don't laugh at me too heartily !
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. February 10, 1909.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, Your Foreword is most kindly and all we could possibly want. I saw Mrs Gotto to-day and tried to explain to her that our position was one of sympathy but independent action. We must not make ourselves in any way intimately associated with propagandism. The medical men are coming in and giving us splendid material for the Treasury, often confidential and personal histories. But Saleeby and others on the Eugenics Education Society's Council are red rags to the medical bull, and if it were thought we were linked up with them we should be left severely alone. I think it a very great thing to have won even partial confidence from a portion of the medical world, and if we can keep it and extend it, we shall have really done a great stroke in forwarding the scientific side of Eugenics. I have mentioned all this because I believe Mrs Gotto thinks me unreasonable, but we should only hamper each other's movements, and to make Eugenics an academic study and get the medical world to aid us will be one definite piece of work done on one side of the movement, and as you say this sort of work can be a foundation for the other. Yours affectionately, K. PEARSON.