Eugenics – Not in my backyard?

Second generation Negro-White family, Bermuda | Source: The Harry H. Laughlin Papers, Truman State University, Lantern Slides, Brown Box

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.

The term “eugenics” was first used in 1883 by Francis Galton, Darwin’s half cousin. When I first heard of Eugenics, I had heard of it in the context of Hitler and his chase of the Great White Race – the blonde blue hair future of the world that he would use as his scape goat to massacre millions of Jewish people for.

What I didn’t know was America’s fabulously dirty little secret and the fact that they indeed had themselves a long and sordid history of Eugenics and ” Population Control” techniques that would indeed rival Hitler and in fact made him quite proud. A history that started long before Hitler’s tyrannical reign even begun.

A history financed then and now by the largest, most powerful families in the U.S. What threw me for an even bigger loop was seeing my tiny little island become a part of these trials.

This Eugenics study conducted in Bermuda in 1918 seemed like a colossal waste of money but hey clearly rich folk have nothing better to do with their money. The results were a whole bunch of crap. They studied aspects like hair kinkiness, eye color, how many generations it took to get the blackness out. The noted the apparent promiscuity in the “subject matter” in Jamaica and concluded there was little that could be done to help them. They writer of the survey walks away with little gems such as “Recognizing the inadequacy of the average black African negro to play a part in our highly developed society a natural stigma has become attached to black skin color.” And “It is not generally true that hybrids between whites and blacks are relatively infertile; some such hybrids show an exceptionally high fecundity.” (fertility) So go figure, it took a study of “mixed breeds” to figure out that black blood intermixed with white doesn’t leave you sterile. Breathtaking! I only noticed one person that was unwilling to have his color recorded when his family was surveyed – GO HIM!

The native Bermudians consider themselves, and are truly, much superior to the Jamaicans. — Florence H. Danielson. Well good to see some things never change, we still think of ourselves as better than the other West Indian islands. How its possible for us to have the same mindset 100 years later, slavery was effective as hell, brainwashing ain’t no joke!

Excerpts from the study below:


Director, Department of Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor With Appendix, being Abridgement of Field-notes, Chiefly of Florence H. Danielson, Field Worker, Eugenics Record Office, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington – 1918


The difficulty of getting the desired data is considerable, especially in our Southern States, where all matings of blacks and whites are illegal and the genealogies of “colored” people are usually either difficult to obtain or else unreliable. After having discussed the matter with persons of experience in other countries, as well as in the Southern States, it was decided that the best available field for study would be the islands of Bermuda and Jamaica. Funds were provided to pay the salary and expense of a field worker to collect the data, through the generosity of Mrs. E. H. Harriman. Science is greatly indebted.

The color determinations were made in the following manner: Miss Danielson visited the homes of the colored people and obtained all of the genealogical data that could be furnished. Then the sleeve was rolled up to above the elbow and a part of the skin that is usually covered from the sunlight was thus exposed. The arm was placed on the table by a good light and a Bradley color-top was spun close to the arm and the disks adjusted until they matched, when spun, the color of the skin. Various combinations of black (N), red (R), yellow (Y), and white (W) gave a close approximation to the skin color.

Acknowledgment must be made of the courtesy with which our field worker was everywhere received. The people acquiesced in friendly fashion to the novel request to allow their skin color to be measured; and in some cases leading persons in the community interested themselves in securing an introduction to the homes which furnished the desired combinations of ancestry. Special acknowledgment is made of courtesies extended by Prof. E. L. Mark for introductions that were of great service in Bermuda;

The importation of negroes to Bermuda began in 1616, and there is reason for believing that the negroes whom the English secured at that early date were of those captured by the Portuguese, who operated largely in Senegambia.

Attention may be called, at this point, to our great lack of precise information about the differences in skin color of the native African races, the anatomical basis of the differences, and the method of inheritance of African skin color of the different sorts.

*The term ” typical hair ” is used in a technical sense for the curly hair of the ” brown-skinned ” negroes of the Bermudas. The texture is coarse and it is very curly, but can usually be combed and pulled out straight enough to braid in one or two ” pigtails ” behind,or if it is done up on top of the head it makes a fairly respectable ” bob.” It seems to grow longer than the black natives’ hair and has a less obstinate wiry curl in it. — F. H. D.


(a) Bermuda.

The brown-skinned negro is the characteristic negro of Bermuda. The black-skinned negroes in Bermuda are almost entirely the result of imported labor. When the government was building its dry dock and fixing up its naval station, it brought many West Indian negroes up to work in Bermuda.

Some of them settled there and intermarried with the brown-skinned people. The result is that there are more apparently “full black ” people in the present generation than there were in the past. Both the white and the colored people regret this importation, not only for its effect upon the skin color, but especially because it has introduced a more lawless element. White men have told me that formerly it was almost absolutely safe for women to be out alone in the evening. Now they do not consider it quite so safe because “those West Indian fellows” have made several disturbances. * * * The white Bermudians have explained the brown skins of their colored people by the common practice of the white masters to have children by their slaves. In such a small territory where the number of slaves kept was comparatively small, this practice would relatively soon affect the whole colored population.

In Jamaica, on the other hand, where the plantations demanded large numbers of slaves, the same practice of concubinage would affect a smaller number. This smaller number, being segregated, would form that mixed “colored” class who are so proud of their white blood. For the pure blacks, after emancipation, retired to the mountains and for a long time kept very much to themselves. * * * The native Bermudians consider themselves, and are truly, much superior to the Jamaicans. — Florence H. Danielson.


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