Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doctors, Planters, and Doomsday Preachers: The Surprising Failure of the Eugenics Movement in Early 20th Century Texas

Almost three decades before the English biologist Sir Francis Galton coined the term eugenics in 1883[i], a Texas doctor lobbied for castration to be imposed on criminals and others he deemed unfit, to prevent the transmission of defective biological characteristics to future generations.  One of Texas’ first medical journals in the 1890s called for castration and other forced sterilization measures as a final solution to what it called “sexual perversion” in the human population.  Two of the world’s leading eugenicists, Julian Huxley (older brother of the author of the science fiction dystopia Brave New World Aldous Huxley) and the Nobel Prize-winning genetic researcher Hermann Joseph Muller, for years conducted their research, respectively, at Rice Institute (now Rice University) in Houston and the University of Texas at Austin.[ii]  

Yet, in spite of the widespread passage of eugenics laws across the United States, the early involvement of Texans in the eugenics movement, the advocacy of harsh immigration restriction, and forced sterilization of supposed racial inferiors and social misfits by some of the state’s top educators and powerful groups like the reborn Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, Texas never passed its own racial purification laws in the early twentieth century.  The reasons are complex, but chief among them are the role of planters in the state’s economy, and a surge in apolitical apocalyptic preaching in the Lone Star State in the period between 1900 and 1930.

At best vaguely defined, eugenics (derived by Galton from the Greek phrase meaning “good in birth”) represented a scientific enterprise conducted largely in Britain and the United States but later most famously in Nazi Germany, that aimed to breed biologically superior humans and weed out inferior strains.[iii] Generally speaking, eugenicists envisioned humanity as divided into a hierarchy of races, with so-called Nordics (Northern Europeans including those of Anglo-Saxon descent) as the most intellectually and physically gifted, and with sub-Saharan Africans occupying the bottom rung and having traits more similar to apes than to the rest of humanity. 

 Even among white Europeans, eugenicists argued, there existed a ladder of worth, with the superior, civilization-creating Nordics followed by “inferior” European groups like “Alpines” (roughly from Central and Eastern Europe) and “Mediterraneans” (from Southern Europe).[iv]  To eugenicists, biological inheritance was destiny, and they further insisted that traits like industriousness, creativity, thrift, altruism, alcoholism, criminality and sexuality had little or nothing to do with environment and almost entirely to do with what they called an individual’s “germ plasm.”[v]

Some of these ideas had been expressed almost a half-century earlier by Gideon Lincecum (1793-1874), a Texas doctor who argued that criminality and work habits were inborn human traits.  Born in Georgia in 1793, Lincecum moved to Texas in 1848.  A cranky eccentric, who Lincecum also embraced phrenology and graphology. Phrenologists contended one could read a patient's personality and measure their intelligence, by examining the bumps on their head. Graphologists believed you could accomplish the same through examining a person's handwriting. Lincecum practiced medicine for years, first believing in allopathic techniques such as bleeding the ill.  Bleeding was believed to restore health by balancing body fluids. He later turned against such invasive medical technique[vi]

Lincecum was an early believer in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and postulated that humans had not sufficiently evolved from their more primitive simian ancestors.[vii] Like later eugenicists, Lincecum feared that the unfit would soon reproductively run over the biologically superior, unless society made a conscious decision to stop the breeding of the supposed unfit.  He thought it might take thousands of years to produce a eugenic paradise, but Lincecum still dreamed of  “a perfect world inhabited by a physically superb race of men and women, morally and intellectually perfect, who selectively reproduced for even higher attainment,” as Lincecum biographer Lois Wood Burkhalter put it. Lincecum saw castration of the unfit as the fastest path to a future biological paradise.[viii]

In the 1850s, Lincecum sent a “Memorial,” as he called a proposed law he authored, to 676 legislators, newspaper editors, doctors and other notables. In this Memorial, he fiercely advocated forced castration of criminals as a means of improving the species.[ix]  He saw castration as a means of holding in check or even curing what he considered the innate animal nature of criminals.  Lincecum tirelessly proposed eugenic castration for two decades, from his first call in the early 1850s until his death in 1874. He reacted with fury when his proposal for castration of criminals met with ridicule, indifference, or fierce opposition.  Only two newspapers in Texas, he complained in an 1859 letter, the “Colorado Democrat” and the “Ranger” published his “Memorial” in full, and most others referred to it only briefly “for the fun of the thing than any other consideration.”[x] 

Bristling at critics who charged that mandatory castration of criminals was a violation of human rights, Lincecum informed a correspondent that castration would provide a more humane alternative to executing criminals and would prevent future criminals from being conceived.  The only available remedy is the knife,” he wrote. “Its power to deter and to save the wicked is indisputably efficient . . . [A]s to the ‘inhumanity,’ and ‘cruelty’ of the proposed changes in our penal code, when compared with the rope, penitentiary, and the branding iron, it is an objection that will never be brought forward by intelligent men . . . ”[xi] 

A more utopian future, one with less crime, insanity and fewer individuals dependent on charity, would happen if Texas would only adopt his surgical solutions to social problems, Lincecum later wrote in the 1870s to his friend W. Richardson.  “Pass the memorial into a law and let it be faithfully carried into execution, and one single generation under its influence, will empty all the penitentiaries, prisons and lunatic asylums in the state,” Lincecum said.  “And they think it would diminish the burthen they have to carry by diminishing the number of the men who live without labor, and be an exemption from the heavy sums paid to the criminal courts, prisons, and the vast sums appriated [ sic ]for states’ prison purposes.”[xii]  Lincecum hoped his extreme measures would be adopted not only in Texas, but that his Memorial would serve as model legislation for the world.

Lincecum was not just a theorist, but had applied what he called “the knife of purification”[xiii] to the biologically unfit. On at least one occasion, he put his ideas to practice without his patient’s consent.  “Did you ever see an eunuch?” he asked his New York friend Dr. R.P. Hallock.  “I have been familiarly acquainted with five of them.  One of them I made myself.

He was a degraded drunken sot – in delirium tremens at the time and I did it in a kind of youthful frolic.  It cured him, however, and made an honest man of him and he often thanked me for it . . . He became quite industrious, religious, and studious . . . I have had this subject under close toiling investigation during the last ten years. [xiv]

Lincecum was unable, however, to creative a mass movement behind his campaign. Benjamin E. Tarver and John Sayles, who represented Lincecum’s Washington County, introduced the “Lincecum Law” in the Texas House on November 16, 1853, but the proposal met only with ridicule.  “They did it in a manner better calculated to excite ridicule and opposition than a philosophical consideration of the matter,” Lincecum later bitterly complained.[xv]

Upon receiving a copy of the Lincecum castration proposal in 1856, F.H. Merriman, a retired state representative and senator in Galveston, pledged his support.  “I believe your doctrine is a sound one, and has nothing in it that is terrible except to evil doers, and that it is well calculated to extinguish bad blood more effectively than the assumption of the doubtful right of taking the life of a fellow being,” Merriman wrote.[xvi]   The one-time legislator, however, warned his friend that that the idea was likely to inspire opposition from soft-hearted individuals who saw the plan as “one calculated to abridge what they conceive to be a natural right.”[xvii] 

Later a friend in Tennessee, Josiah Higgerson, described the range of reactions to Lincecum’s “Memorial” in the Volunteer State. In his letter, Lincecum’s supporter expressed a contempt for democracy typical of eugenics advocates.  “The subject matter of your memorial caused a sensation here for a time,” Higgerson wrote.  “There were various opinions about.  Some were violently opposed to it, others in favor of it.  One old gentleman said he had been in the notion to go to Texas, but that he would turn his idea towards hell before he would go to any country whose legislation would even entertain such a memorial  . . . The only difficulty lies in carrying out the principle practicably.  In such a government as we have it will always be impossible to get a majority in favor of it.  Majorities are always opposed to curtail their right to do wrong . . . This law could be carried out by an autocrat but he would never do it for the reason that he has a use in his subjects for the very elements of character that would be destroyed by it.[xviii] The law came before the state legislature and was rejected, again with derision, in 1856.[xix]

Lincecum’s “Memorial” may have been ridiculed in its time, but similar proto-eugenics ideas suggesting that criminality stemmed from biological inheritance and that castration might be the most efficient means of crime prevention, appeared frequently in the pages of Daniel’s Medical Journal, published in Austin, Texas, in the 1880s and 1890s.

Dr. Ferdinand Eugene Daniel (1839-1914), a nationally renowned onetime Galveston physician and surgeon and professor of anatomy and surgery at that city’s Texas Medical College[xx], over the years proposed castration as a solution to rape, insanity and the supposed problem of homosexuality in the pages of his journal, which appeared under various names beginning in 1885.  He delivered a paper before the International Medico-Legal Congress in Chicago in August 1893 advocating castration as a means of eliminating what he called sexual perversion.  Daniel subsequently published his paper under the title “Should Insane Criminals, Or Sexual Perverts, Be Allowed to Procreate?”, which appeared later that same year in the Medico-Legal Journal.[xxi] Daniel admitted that science had not firmly established the root causes of alcoholism, homosexuality or other behaviors he disdained, but he made it clear that he entertained no doubts that heredity and not a person’s social environment, shaped a person’s behavior. 

“No fact is better established that drunkenness, insanity, and criminal traits of behavior, as well as syphilis, consumption, and scrofula may descend from parent to child.”  Daniel then mourned that states had failed to take more aggressive action “in the way of rational prophylaxis against a long list of maladies that destroy both mind and body.”[xxii]  States had failed to protect future Americans from biological degenerates, Daniel said.  “In no state,” he protested, “are such restrictions put upon the privilege of marriage as are calculated to arrest the propagation of consumption, syphilis, insanity, drunkenness, and criminal propensity; nor is any other method resorted to, calculated to counteract, or lessen the degrading effects of hereditary transmission of these vices.”[xxiii] Daniel warned that the many drunks, criminals and lower races who lived in Texas would proliferate wildly in the coming years and overwhelm the state’s fit population unless dramatic measures were taken.  “[W]ith the lower classes, particularly negroes, it is known that illicit intercourse is common,” he said.[xxiv] 

Daniel marveled that the criminal courts had not used the same techniques farmers used to eliminate defective cattle or sheep to weed out what he saw as the obviously deranged, including everything from rapists to chronic masturbators.  “Rational man will not permit his defective stock to breed,” Daniel said, “but, contrary to reason, common-sense, and the best interest of society, will permit the consumptive, the insane, the intemperate, the syphilitic, and the criminal to propagate each his kind, under the protection of the law.”[xxv] Castration of such individuals, Daniel insisted, would be “PUNITIVE, CURATIVE, and PREVENTATIVE . . . Rape, sodomy, bestiality, pederasty, and habitual masturbation, should be made crimes or misdemeanors, punishable by forfeiture of all rights, including that of procreation; in short, by castration, or castration plus other penalties, according to the gravity of the offense.”[xxvi]  Daniel concluded by describing the application of what Lincecum had called the “purifying knife” as “PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE.”

Even before eugenics ideas had widely spread in the United States from their birthplace in England, Lincecum and Daniel had advocated similar ideas and called for what would come to be known as “negative eugenics” to prevent criminals, the chemically dependent and the sexually deviant from passing on their defective biology to children.  Immigration into Texas in the early 20th century focused the state’s eugenicists on the biological worth of those whom many in the movement considered non-whites: Jews, Eastern European gentiles, Southern Europeans and Mexicans. 

 The percentage of foreign-born Texans increased both in raw numbers and in terms of the percentage of the total Texas population between 1880 and 1920.  The state’s total population grew from almost 1.6 million in 1880 to about 4.7 million in those forty years.  The number of foreign born within the state  more than tripled from 114,616 by 1920 to 362,832. Mexican immigration, particularly in the decade of revolution and political and economic chaos in Mexico from 1910 to 1920, had the biggest impact.  About 100,000 Mexicans crossed the border into Texas in that decade. By 1930, the Mexican population in the state numbered 700,000, about 12 percent of the total population (they had equaled about 6.5 percent of the population in 1850.)[xxvii]   Many of these immigrants were not seen by Anglo elites in Texas as capable of assimilation.

Lewis Dabney, the son of a University of Texas at Austin philosophy professor and a Dallas lawyer, argued that no degree of education or acculturation would make Southern and Eastern Europeans real Americans,and advocated shutting the door to further immigration. Through immigration restriction, he said in a December 1922 speech to the Dallas Critic Club (an influential civic organization), Dabney wanted to prevent Anglo-Saxons from being overwhelmed by "mongrelized Asiatics, Greeks, Levantines, Southern Italians, and sweepings of the Balkans, of Poland and of Russia."[xxviii]  Dabney told his Dallas audience that the United States faced a political takeover by racial inferiors that could be prevented only by encouraging "superior men and women" to increase their families; promoting birth control among the lower classes and sterilizing "criminals, lunatics, idiots, defectives and degenerates," and ending "promiscuous immigration."[xxix]

Dabney would not be alone in calling for immigration restriction in Texas.  He was joined by the Ku Klux Klan, which became a national force in the early 1920s, dominated the state of Texas politically and boasted its largest chapter in Dallas, where 13,000 members had joined by the early 1920s.[xxx]  Many Dallas elites agreed with the Klan’s goal of restricting immigration, but they hoped they could improve the city's stock by encouraging the biologically promising to breed and promoting the elimination of reproduction by the biologically and racially backward.  For many years in the early twentieth century, a "Better Baby Contest" proved a crowd-pleasing event at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.  In 1914, a committee of doctors measured the skulls and other traits of the 500 entrants, with $15 awarded to the parents of the "best" child, any class, and $5 for the best twins and triplets.[xxxi] 

Winners were white, blonde and often the scions of elite families.  Hoping to evangelize the Dallas crowds to the gospel of better breeding, A. Caswell Ellis, an educational psychologist at the University of Texas (later a national leader in the eugenic movement), flattered the crowd attending a Better Baby Contest at the State Fair in 1914, declaring, "Texas babies are better babies than the babies of any other state." Long a popularizer of science[xxxii], Ellis took the opportunity to evangelize for his favorite cause and "lightly touched on eugenics" for his Dallas audience.[xxxiii]

Prompted by eugenicists like Dr. Ellis, the Texas Mental Hygiene Society in the early 1920s undertook to assess the effects of biological degeneracy on the state’s mental health.  According to the society’s 1924 published report Psychiatric Study of Public School Children in Eleven Counties, Children in State and County Institutions for Delinquents and Dependents, Inmates of Eleven County Poor Farms [and] Inmates of Eighteen County Jails, an alarming number of Texas school children rated as mentally defective.  A survey covering 3,208 children in all (including 122 African Americans, 421 “Mexicans” and 2,665  “others” – whom the report defined loosely as “white’), found that 24.7 percent rated as mental defectives or suffered from “borderline mental defect” (meaning they “tended toward the feeble-minded”) and another 8.3 percent suffered from “gross personality defect.”[xxxiv]
 The report reaffirmed the eugenicist assumptions of white supremacy.  No black school children, only 1.9 of the Mexican males and 0.9 percent of the females ranked as mentally “superior” (compared to 2.4 percent of all whites.)  Meanwhile the mental hygiene survey team ranked an extraordinary 34.4 percent of African American school children and 23.4 percent of Mexican children as mental defectives, compared to a still high 5.7 percent for whites.[xxxv]  If believed, the study held chilling implications for the state’s future. 

 Elsewhere the report established a firm link between mental defectiveness and crime.  According to the researchers, 22.8 percent of the inmates contacted at state penitentiaries were mentally defective or suffered from borderline mental defect, while 41.1 percent of those held in county jails belonged to these two categories.[xxxvi] These numbers seem less disturbing when one considers the flawed methodology and assumptions eugenicists used to measure intellect in that era. 

In his papers collected at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas, Dr. Ellis kept copies of the National Intelligence Test, Scale B, Form I designed by national eugenicists like L.M. Terman and R.M. Yerkes[xxxvii] and used by psychologists and psychiatrists in Texas in the 1920s.   These tests actually measured knowledge rather than intellect.  A typical question asked who wrote the poem “Hiawatha,” the possible answers being James Fenimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe and John Greenleaf Whittier.  (The correct answer is Longfellow.) [xxxviii]  Clearly, one could be misinformed or poorly educated and miss such questions, but still be intelligent.  Mexican students who might have poor English skills and who had not been exposed to the Anglocentric English literature deemed an essential measure of innate IQ by tests authors Terman and Yerkes, would have special difficulty in correctly answering what are essentially trivia questions.

Such tests were widely understood to measure innate intellectual qualities.  When the Texas Mental Hygiene Society published its report, it called for improved mental health care and rehabilitation for the mentally deficient, but didn’t seem to consider that the poor scores on the “IQ” tests actually gauged how inadequate Texas schools were.  By 1924 when the Mental Hygiene Society’s report was issued, Progressives had only recently passed a school reform law to modernize an education system still dominated by rural one-teacher, one-classroom schools.   State spending on education ranked near the bottom nationally and, regarding quality, one survey in 1920 rated Texas 39th of the 48 states.[xxxix]  With eugenicists dominating the national dialogue in the early 1920s, many in Texas concluded that the state faced a biological crisis as much as an education crisis and sought to improve the state’s racial stock.  The racial anxieties of Anglo Texans in the 1920s, however, would collide with the economic interests of cotton growers. 

The number of states prohibiting interracial marriage spiked sharply during the eugenics era from the turn of the century until World War II.  During this period, twenty-seven states passed mandatory sterilization laws aimed at preventing the poor, epileptics, and the supposedly unintelligent and mentally ill from passing their dysgenic natures to another generation.[xl] However, in spite of the strong influence of eugenicists in Klan-dominated Texas, the Lone Star State did not rank among the states that passed sterilization laws or other eugenics measures. A major reason may have been the influence of cotton growers in the state who had begun importing Mexican farm workers in large numbers.  Texas’ urban population grew steadily in the early twentieth century, but by the 1920s Texas was still an overwhelmingly rural state, meaning that big growers in rural Texas House districts had disproportionate influence over the state legislature.[xli]

Cotton growers worried that eugenics legislation nationally and at the state level might make it harder to find cheap labor to compete with white and black farm labor.  After passage of the nativist 1917 Immigration Act, Texas planters and growers successfully lobbied Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson to allow the temporary entry of “otherwise inadmissible aliens” to offset labor shortages created by the American entry into World War I.  Eugenicists led a chorus of protest against the quota waivers, leading Wilson after the war to rescind his exemptions of Mexican workers.  Once again, the big planters and growers insisted they needed the cheap labor of Mexicans (whom they argued were uniquely suited physically for farm labor), and the exemptions were extended until 1920.  When the U.S Congress passed a new Quota Act in 1921 further restricting the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, Mexican farm labor became even more important in Texas, and again the rich landowners got all the poorly paid migrant workers they wanted.[xlii] Cotton growers, as the historian Neil Foley observed, had become so dependent on scantily-paid Mexican farm labor that they feared that immigration restriction would cause them economic disaster.  Nevertheless, many Anglos worried about the alleged genetic inferiority of Mexicans as well as their possible radical politics.[xliii]One opponent to the use of Mexican labor in Texas declared, “To Mexicanize Texas or to Orientalize California is a crime.”[xliv]

In 1923, the Texas House debated a concurrent resolution introduced by Dallas Rep. Lewis Carpenter requesting the United States Congress to allow the governor of a state or the state Legislature to draw up a quota “of the kind and character and number of immigrants which any given State is willing and ready to receive for any given year or period of years.”  The quota would then be forwarded to federal immigration authorities in Washington, and the national quota of immigrants from a nation like Mexico could be raised to that number to meet a state’s economic needs.  As a sop to the nativists and eugenicists, Carpenter and his allies included a provision requiring immigrants to remain in the custody of the state until they returned home or became United States citizens.  Such a requirement would guarantee the “preservation of a homogeneous race” in Texas and the rest of the country, Carpenter argued.  Such arguments didn’t calm lawmakers fearing a rising tide of color washing northward from the Texas border. House Concurrent Resolution 15 was referred to the Committee on Federal Relations, which ultimately rejected the proposal.[xlv]  
Nevertheless, in 1924 when the Congress passed the most restrictive immigration legislation in American history, the Johnson-Reed Act, the law focused on shutting down what had been since the 1880s massive Southern and Eastern European immigration while planters in Texas and elsewhere could still import low-wage Mexican farm workers. 

The anti-immigration agenda of the eugenics movement failed in part because it threatened the economic interests of some powerful elites.  The Texas eugenics campaign also tangled with the growing influence of a new force in Texas politics, a religious movement known as  “pre-millennial dispensationalism.”  Promoted by Dallas minister Cyrus Scofield, dispensationalists believed that the Bible represented a prophetic text that predicted the imminent “Second Coming” of Jesus.  Intensely anti-Catholic because they believed that the Vatican represented a Satanic false Christianity, such Protestants might have been expected to represent a force for eugenics legislation aimed at controlling the population of Catholic Mexicans, Italians and other aliens in Texas.  Dispensationalism, however, discouraged political activism, believing that faith in human institutions like legislatures represented a rejection of God as the ultimate arbiter of human affairs. "The true mission of the church is not the reformation of society," Scofield declared.  "What Christ did not do, the Apostles did not do.  Not one of them was a reformer.  This growing apolitical religious movement denied eugenicists a potentially key group of supporters. .”[xlvi] 

Texas dispensationalists, with their intense anti-Catholicism, might have been drawn to efforts to shut down immigration from countries like Mexico, but the open Darwinism and religious skepticism, if not outright atheism, of many eugenicists, alienated not only dispensationalists but other Bible literalists, thus shattering a potentially much larger pro-eugenics (or at least anti-immigration) coalition. By the end of the 1930s, political defeats had completely demoralized Texas eugenicists.   One of the state’s fiercest eugenics advocates, Edward Everett Davis, had concluded that the state’s reliance on cotton production had already racially doomed the state.  The dean of North Texas Agricultural College (now the University of Texas at Arlington) from 1923-1946, Davis had previously served as a rural researcher for the University of Texas at Austin from 1912 to 1922. 

In his potboiler 1940 novel The White Scourge, Davis repeatedly depicts cotton plantations as curses because of the biological quality of the people who toil in the cotton fields.  “Poverty and ignorance have always clung to the cotton stalk like iron filings to a magnet,” Davis wrote on his opening page.  “Too much of America’s worthless human silt has filtered into the cotton belt.  Cotton culture is simple, an elemental means of subsistence for that portion of the South’s rural proletariat composed of lowly blacks, peonized Mexicans, and moronic whites numbering into several millions.”[xlvii] 

In White Scourge, Davis surrenders to pessimism, shared by others in the eugenics movement in the 1940s and beyond.  He speculates that Texas had already reached a biological tipping point in which the state would forever find itself dominated politically and culturally by the unfit, a fate sealed because of unchecked Mexican immigration.  “Look at the great army of unwashed Mexicans now crossing the Rio Grande in peace, with sandals on their feet, rags on their back, and vermin in their hear,” laments another character, a teacher named Tom Leonard.  “Into our cotton fields, they are spreading like a corrosive blight ten thousand times more dangerous than Santa Anna’s invading hosts of 1836!”[xlviii]  Davis looked towards the future and thought he saw Armageddon.  “By 1970 or there-a-bouts, our historians may wake up and discover that one of the most terrible chapters in all of the annals of Texas was enacted by the apathetic, cotton-field Mexicans  during the first two decades of the twentieth century.”

Historians as a group came to no such conclusion in 1970.  However, the aftermath of the Holocaust and World War II revealed the hideous extremes to which eugenicist thought could go.  The professional ties between American and British eugenicists and the German eugenicists who helped engineer the Holocaust became a serious public relations problem for advocates of American “race science” after World War II.  Biological determinism retreated to the more sinister corners of the academy, primarily in fields like psychology.  Open political advocacy for measures like involuntary sterilization became less frequent to the point of vanishing.[xlix]  The eugenics era passed and, in spite of a panicked debate in the state legislature and in academia, advocates of the pseudo-science proved unable to enact in Texas any of their most cherished reforms.


[i] Jonathan Peter Shapiro, Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant (Burlington, Vermont: University of Vermont Press, 2009), 118-120.
[ii] Elazar Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States Between the World Wars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992,), 184; David Plotz, The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (New York: Random House, 2005), 29-30; “Herman J. Muller – Biography,” Nobelprize.org, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1946/muller-bio.html. Accessed April 9, 2011.
[iii]  Wendy Kline, Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 13.
[iv] These ideas are most fully articulated in Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race or the Racial Basis of European History (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916.)
[v] Shapiro, Defending the Master Race, 143-166.
[vi] Lois Wood Burkhalter, Gideon Lincecum, 1793-1874: A Biography (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965), 39, 60, 123-125.
[vii] Burkhalter, Gideon Lincecum, 209-213; Jerry Bryan Lincecum, Edward Hake Phillips and Peggy A. Redshaw, eds. Science on the Texas Frontier: Observations of Dr. Gideon Lincecum (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1997), 18-27; Jerry Bryan Lincecum and Edward Hake Phillips, eds., Adventures of the Frontier Naturalist (Texas A&M University Press, 1994), 38-39.
[viii] Burkhalter, Gideon Lincecum, 93
[ix] Ibid., 94.
[x] Letter, Gideon Lincecum, Long Point, Texas, to Parson Lancaster, June 12, 1859, Gideon Lincecum Papers, Box 2 E363, Folder 3, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History (CAH), Austin, Texas.
[xi] Lincecum to Lancaster. 
[xii] Letter, Gideon Lincecum, Long Point, Texas, to W. Richardson, 1874, Lincecum Collection, Box 2E365, Folder 4, Letters from 1873-1899, CAH.
[xiii] Burkhalter, Gideon Lincecum, 94.
[xiv] Burkhatler, 95.
[xv] Burkhalter., 96.
[xvi] Letter, F.H. Merriman, Galveston, Texas, to Gideon Lincecum, July 13, 1856, Lincecum Collection, Box 2E363, Folder 3, CAH. 
[xvii] Ibid.
[xviii] Letter, Josiah Higgerson, Sommerville, Tennessee, to Gideon Lincecum, March 2, 1856, Lincecum Collection, Box 2E363, Folder 3, CAH.
[xix] Burkhalter, 97-99.
[xx] The New Handbook of Texas, s.v., “Ferdinand Eugene Daniel.”
[xxi] F.E. Daniel, “Should Insane Criminals, or Sexual Perverts, Be Allowed to Procreate?” Medico-Legal Journal, Volume XI, No. 3 (1893), 275.
[xxii] Daniel, “Should Insane Criminals,” 275.
[xxiii] Ibid., 275-276.
[xxiv] Ibid., 276.
[xxv] Ibid., 290.
[xxvi] Ibid., 291.
[xxvii] United States Bureau of the Census, Population Division, “Table 13. Nativity of the Population, for Regions, Divisions, and States: 1850 to 1990,” http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0029/tab13.html,.  Accessed July 13, 2011; Robert A. Calvert and Arnoldo de León, The History of Texas (Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 1996), 186; Johnson, Revolution in Texas, 26; Terry G. Jordan, “A Century and a Half of of Ethnic Change in Texas, 1836-1986,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (April 1986), 418; and Robert McCaa, “Missing Millions: The Human Cost of the Mexican Revolution,” Report by the University of Minnesota Population Center (2001), http://www.hist.umn.edu/~rmccaa/missmill/mxrev.htm. Accessed July 13, 2011.
[xxviii] Lewis Meriwether Dabney, A Memoir and Letters (New York: privately printed by J.J. Little and Ives Company, 1924), 214.
[xxix] Ibid., 232.
[xxx] Michael Phillips, White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006), 83-94.
[xxxi] For newspaper coverage leading up to the contest, see "Better Babies Show," advertising copy, Dallas Daily Times Herald, 11 October 1914, sec. 1., p. 14;  "Prizes Offered for The Baby Show," Dallas Daily Times Herald, 26 October 1914, sec. 1, p. 1; "Wednesday Is Big Day For Baby Contest," Dallas Daily Times Herald, 27 October 1914, sec. 1, p. 3;  "Bright Sunshine And Varied Features Bring Big Crowd To The Fair: Better Baby Contest Is Drawing Card," Dallas Daily Times Herald, 28 October 1914, sec. 1, p. 1.  For more on the contest, see Nancy Wiley, The Great State Fair of Texas: An Illustrated History (Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company, 2000), 73.
[xxxii] Edward T. Downer, “A. Caswell Ellis,” Skyline (A Quarterly of the Cleveland College of Western Reserve University), Vol. XIII, No. 4, May 1940, 19-20.

[xxxiii] "Girl Child Makes Best Test Marks: Grace Gulden, Dallas County, Winner of Sweepstakes.  Two Perfect Boys," Dallas Daily Times Herald, 28 October 1914, sec. 1, p. 4.
[xxxiv] Elmer V. Eyman, Report of the Texas Mental Hygiene Survey, 1924: Psychiatric Study of Public School Children in Eleven Counties, Children in State and County Institutions for Delinquents and Dependents, [and] Inmates of Eleven County Poor Farms Inmates of Eighteen County Jails  (New York: The National Committee for Mental Hygiene, December, 1924), 19, 53, 55.  Alexander Caswell Ellis Papers, Box 2P49, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas.
[xxxv] Eyman, Report of the Texas Mental Hygiene Survey, 53.
[xxxvi] Ibid., 19.
[xxxvii] The careers of Terman and Yerkes and the deep flaws of their work are described in Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981), 172-233.
[xxxviii] M.E. Haggery, L.M. Terman, E.L. Thorndike, G.M. Whipple, and R.M. Yerkes, National Intelligence Test, Scale B, Form 1, Alexander Caswell Ellis Papers, Box 4P347.

[xxxix] Robert A. Calvert and Arnoldo De León, The History of Texas (Wheeling, Ill: Harland Davidson, Inc., 1996), 277-278.
[xl] Black, War Against the Weak, xv, 3-6..
[xli] Allen Duckworth, Dallas Morning News, “Redistricting Long Overdue: Law Governing Membership of Legislature Unobserved,” 7 January 1951.
[xlii] Neil Foley, The White Scourge, 45-46.
[xliii] Ibid., 52-53.
[xliv] Ibid., 55.
[xlv] Journal of the House of Representatives of the Regular Session of the Thirty Eighth Legislature Begun and Held at the City of Austin, January 9, 1923 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., 1923), 587-588, 614, 643.
[xlvi] Paul Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More; Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1992), 298.
[xlvii] Edward Everett Davis, The White Scourge (San Antonio: The Naylor Company, 1940), ix.
[xlviii] Ibid., 98. 
[xlix] Marek Kohn, The Race Gallery: The Return of Racial Science (London: Vintage, 1996), 11.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001.  (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013).

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.