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The jukes in 1915 (classic reprint) - disability history museum--The Jukes in 1915



BINNEWATER, N.Y. — For more than a century, the Jukes clan has been presented as America's most despised family. Social science researchers long believed they were a case study of dysfunction, a bunch of genetically linked paupers, criminals, harlots, epileptics and mental defectives, whose care had placed a huge financial burden on taxpayers. The family's pedigree was used for decades as a textbook example of how heredity shaped human behavior and helped lead to calls for compulsory sterilization, segregation, lobotomies and even euthanasia against the "unfit."

Over the years, several historians and biologists have criticized the methodology of two Jukes studies as flawed and have said that many of their conclusions were fabricated. But the true identity of the family — who were dubbed the "Jukeses" by researchers — has remained a mystery, their names hidden by a code devised by the original investigators.

But now new information about the Jukeses has been found in archives at the State University of New York at Albany and in records of a forgotten Ulster County poorhouse. It turns out that many family members were neither criminals nor misfits, and that quite a few were even prominent members of Ulster County society.

BINNEWATER, N.Y. — For more than a century, the Jukes clan has been presented as America's most despised family. Social science researchers long believed they were a case study of dysfunction, a bunch of genetically linked paupers, criminals, harlots, epileptics and mental defectives, whose care had placed a huge financial burden on taxpayers. The family's pedigree was used for decades as a textbook example of how heredity shaped human behavior and helped lead to calls for compulsory sterilization, segregation, lobotomies and even euthanasia against the "unfit."

Over the years, several historians and biologists have criticized the methodology of two Jukes studies as flawed and have said that many of their conclusions were fabricated. But the true identity of the family — who were dubbed the "Jukeses" by researchers — has remained a mystery, their names hidden by a code devised by the original investigators.

But now new information about the Jukeses has been found in archives at the State University of New York at Albany and in records of a forgotten Ulster County poorhouse. It turns out that many family members were neither criminals nor misfits, and that quite a few were even prominent members of Ulster County society.

Source Archive: University of Albany, SUNY Theme(s):   Poverty and Degeneracy   Criminality   Eugenics Record Office (ERO)   Leading Eugenicists


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