I had a lot of reservations about exactly what to impart about this, as there could be possible consequences. I hope that I have chosen the right way to go about it. I believe that this will provide enough information to satisfy most of the biggest questions on this subject, with sufficient hints, and yet remain ethical as my source book was.
First, it's not violating anything to reveal Deborah Kallikak's first name, which was Emma. Actually, her true identity was "outed" in the 1990's in an article for a psychological publication, though it was never highly publicized. The way I hit on it was completely serendipitous. After dozens of hours scouring almost every NJ genealogy site on the Internet, I found it using the simplest method of all, which I kicked myself for not thinking of in the first place. (Of course.) If some future readers should figure out how I did it, I just hope they have discretion, sense, and sensitivity not to cause difficulties for the institution, which I now believe WAS beneficial or at least benign in purpose, given the mores of those times.
In part, this is due to the courtesy I owe to the archivist at Vineland, who answered some of my breathlessly-eager and even accusatory questions with patience, and invited me to come down in the near future to tour the place, sit in on a couple of the classes they still run, and, of course, to visit Emma's last resting-place (with a side-trip of my own to the cemetery where Goddard and others associated with her story are buried.)
I did not make a vow of total secrecy, but it was understood that there was still a presumption of confidentiality regarding Emma's actual records. Which IS rather unfortunate--- It would be a great service to either vindicate this woman's memory with evidence that she was not retarded in any (major) way, OR to vindicate Vineland for having assented to her continued confinement in two state institutions for a remarkable number of years. The continued reticence of the Training School, in spite of the fact that the subject has long since passed the scrutiny of this world, makes the first possibility seem likely, which I should think is detrimental to their image and mostly beneficial history. Perhaps a personal meeting with the archivist will resolve that.
I also owe it to the memory of Emma, whom I now know I will never meet as she died almost 30 years ago. However, the more I learned about her, the more protective of her it made ME (as, ironically, it made Goddard and her other custodians.) I fear that if her last name (which is NOT a common one) is revealed, perhaps her gravestone might be stolen, or Goddard's grave desecrated in a futile, needless act of vengeance. NEITHER of these defenseless dead people deserves that.
It's also in tribute to my father, who had passed away just days before I finally found out. I was, naturally, very depressed over that, and, instead of being distracted by my research, I was at the end of my rope with this mystery. I had come tantalizingly close--- there was even a couple whose ages, date of marriage and deaths, and number of legitimate progeny corresponded almost exactly with the few facts I had about the ancestors. But upon investigating the next generation, the similarities ended.
I had bought a book written by a psychologist who had struggled to discover "Deborah Kallikak's" identity and family history in the pre-Internet era, and only found it by accident, when complaining of his travails to some Vineland locals. However, HE chose to maintain the pseudonym also, and though I had his e-mail address (he's a professor at some university) I thought, why bother to ask him, he probably won't tell me, anyway, even 20 years later. Though, to give him credit, he let slip enough real given names, locations, and dates that made MY discovery possible.
Then--- well, I'm not superstitious at all, but it's a pretty funny coincidence that the means to find the names should hit me like that. I recall just sitting and staring at the name thus revealed, muttering "Doh!" like Homer Simpson, and then zooming in on literally dozens of websites about the family. Which led to the answer to at least some of my questions, not to mention spending $50 on a certain family history to find what Paul Harvey calls "the REST of the story"....
I am personally not done with the subject yet and have expended resources on the research. I MAY decide to attempt to write more about it. At this point, however, I will **NOT** be revealing the family name at this time, for the same reasons I have outlined. I DO think this story deserves to be expanded upon, and though many problems have cropped up in the year and a half since I learned the Kallikaks' identity, I still hope to get down to Vineland, to learn more about Emma and the situation with Dr. Goddard. (Who wasn't QUITE the villain he has sometimes been portrayed as--- somewhat confusing actually, genuinely likeable and yet, infuriating. ) Perhaps traveling to the place where his papers were archived may be in my future.
I can certainly assure you, Emma's family is QUITE aware of their connection, and their family history has substantial portions dedicated to the tangled web of her roots. She WAS their relative, but not the way Goddard and Elizabeth Kite had it. They got bad information, quite frankly, from both the "good" AND "bad" Kallikaks, which Goddard then embellished to promote some of his preconceived notions. Though much of what he wrote about their family scandals IS, unfortunately, QUITE true, with documentation to back it up (including Emma's terminally "adventurous" cousin George, who married several times, and left one wife to live with a Gypsy-- errr, Romany clan. This was independently confirmed on a genealogical message board by one of his descendants.)
The plain fact is that Emma was NOT-- I repeat, NOT-- descended directly from a Revolutionary soldier and a "nameless" tavern maid, but from a distant cousin of this soldier, who had the SAME name and HAD been involved in a triangle between his wife and a long-time lover who bore him a couple of children. This girl DID have a name--- Abiah--- she and her married lover were brought into court due to their activities, and for other legal wrangles.
However, Emma was descended from this cousin's WIFE'S progeny. She, herself, WAS illegitimate, as Goddard stated, but her grand-parents, and greats, were all married, going back to Charles, aka "Casper" (descendant of a family that has been traced back to 12th century England, and has both a town and a castle bearing the name) the first ancestor to set foot in New Jersey in the late 1600's. Emma's branch of the family had settled in Somerset county, with a fairly substantial farm near Sourland / Neshanic Mountain range. Later, her immediate ancestors migrated into Mercer county, around the Trenton area, where many of them are now buried.
The revolutionary soldier Goddard wrote of, John (aka "Martin"), himself WAS, I guess you'd say, a bit of a dog--- his "respectable Quakeress", Rachel, was 6 months pregnant when THEY married, and it seems likely that they eloped. They wed in an Episcopalian church, some distance away from home. (A sure-fire way to counteract the objections of Rachel's father!) Interestingly, though their impromptu wedding was no secret, somehow their anniversary was later reported as being 3 years earlier, when they applied for the veterans' pension.
This could very well have been a simple clerical error, or a late effort to conceal that their first child arrived just 3 months after the wedding (though the truth is, that was a far from uncommon occurrance in those days.) Perhaps it was because of a belief that the couple, and later, the widow, would receive more money if it could be proven they were married while the soldier was still on active duty. John had only been in the army for about 2 years, was never in any battle, was discharged due to an accidental injury, and wed Rachel (who, at 25, was a couple of years his senior, BTW--- rather an old maiden for that era) over a year later.
Otherwise, their long union (they both died in their 80's) appeared to have been happy AND prosperous enough, hopefully faithful, and WAS fruitful. THEIR direct descendants were, for the most part, as basically upstanding as Kite and Goddard were led to believe, down to the present day. They lived in Hunterdon County, near the Pennsylvania border (over which many of their descendants later migrated) and are buried in the hillside cemetery Goddard described. (Which cemetery has not yet been inventoried for Internet genealogical sites, though it may be listed by Rutgers U., which has a large archive of old cemetery inscriptions.)
A major road bears their distinctive family name, and there is even an inn set an 18th century house that was owned by a descendant, which is open and thriving. Six of their seven children (one daughter died, unmarried, at age 20) married into prominent families--- relatives of Richard Stockton (the signer of the Declaration of Independence to whom Goddard referred), among others, for whom several Hunterdon towns were named.
Other branches of descent from Charles migrated westward, and a huge group in Canada is descended from just one of his great-grandsons, Thomas, who was forced, like many others, to move north with his family when, during the Revolution, he remained a Royalist.
As for Emma, the last we heard of her, it was 1912 and she was 23, living and working at Vineland Training School, hoping for eventual release into society. It never came--- she went into the school at age 8 in 1897, and died across the street at a sister institution, the Vineland State school, at age 89 in 1978, and was buried in the institution's cemetery. She was NOT sterilized. NJ only had compulsory sterilization for about 2 years, and the staff of Vineland, being of religious bent, were lukewarm on the subject, preferring enforced celibacy to surgery that might encourage unencumbered sex between its inmates. Thus, Emma's love life was subject to interference from the staff until she was past menopause. At least 3 major romances were shot down this way.
However, confining as this life was, I must emphasize that Emma apparently was NOT mistreated or abused, so far as it can be known, during her lengthy sojourn. Quite the opposite--- she had the best training Vineland had to offer. (Of course, her celebrity / notoriety resulting from Goddard's work ensured that, aside from the inevitable occasional problem with this or that individual, that she would NOT be subject to future misadventure from her caretakers.)
Indeed, the school had been founded on the principle that it would be different from any previous such institution--- it had been started by a minister, Olin Garrison, who felt a calling to improve the lot of the mentally disabled, and to train them for independence if possible. The first school was in his home; as he acquired more pupils, he moved them to a large mansion in the midst of wide fields in Vineland, and constructed "cottages" rather than dormitories.
After Garrison's death, the school was run by the equally-religious Edward Johnstone, who differed in one major respect from his predecessor: Instead of trying to outfit the pupils for living in the outside world, he preferred to see them sequestered and protected, a view his disciple, Goddard (and HIS disciple, Elizabeth Kite), eventually came to share. Even so, Johnstone and the other authorities did their utmost to provide the best of care and education for their "special" charges available in those days, some of which was advanced and innovative. Soon, the school was hiring and training idealistic young teachers bursting with enthusiasm at helping the "feeble-minded" and those who, like Emma, were DUMPED at Vineland when their own families broke up. In short, though Vineland may not have been the completely- successful "Village of Happiness" it set out to be, neither was it the snake-pit it has sometimes been demonized as.
It may be of interest to learn that the famous writer and humanitarian Pearl S. Buck chose to send her own only child, Carol, to Vineland Training School, after what you may imagine were, literally, years of consideration of alternatives. There was nothing Mrs. Buck wanted more than children, even though her first marriage turned out to be quite troubled (and eventually ended.) However, shortly after Carol's birth, the young mother was found to have a tumor which led to an hysterectomy. Pearl could have accepted THAT, save for the fact that Carol turned out to be retarded; much later, it was determined this was due to what was then, a little-understood and as-yet untestable, untreatable condition, now known as PKU. The Bucks DID adopt another little girl, Janice, and, much later, Pearl took in orphans of different races, but until Carol was 9, trying to help her eldest child was her greatest concern.
After futile years of having Carol examined, tested, tutored, etc., a doctor who was familiar with the syndrome was brutally frank with the Bucks, and they realized that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to give the girl the kind of care she required, at home. Mrs. Buck, already at odds with her husband, reluctantly investigated many institutions. By then she was a famous writer, so price wasn't a major object. Mrs. Buck's research indicated to her that Vineland Training School had the best available programs, the most humane living conditions, and an atmosphere that welcomed family involvement--- some of which methods were developed as a result of research done in the Training School laboratory H.H. Goddard helped to found !
she enrolled Carol, and there, according to Pearl's book about her
"The Girl Who Never Grew Up", she lived as happy and productive a life
as she was capable of by that time. As a bonus, Vineland was just over the
from where Pearl's second husband lived and worked, so she was easily
able to keep
track of Carol's progress, which led her to add the Training School to
the long list
of humanitarian and charitable causes she championed. This was pretty
endorsement for a "snakepit" --- and such celebrity interest would have
had the ripple effect of ameliorating negative conditions, if any still
existed. Carol Buck, aged 72, died at Vineland in September 1992, 19 years after her famous mother.
Returning to the case of Emma, Goddard himself published pictures of her work--- she excelled at sewing and carpentry, learned to play her coronet and sang. However, there is little doubt that she would, today, be considered learning-disabled in intellectual attainment, though even that is a matter of degree. Learning standards in the early 1900's were FAR higher than they are now. For instance, Latin, and even Greek, was a REQUIREMENT in many secondary schools of the period. Emma probably could have cruised through a typical modern curriculum (with some assistance), and her handicrafts (many of her own design) could have supplemented her income.
There is also little doubt that Emma's emotional state had greater highs and lows than was probably acceptable in those days, though perhaps a happy marriage and children of her own could have relieved or, at the very least, have minimized them. However, as in so many similar cases, she had her early history against her. The early notes on her case (with which Goddard was NOT involved, having come to Vineland in 1906, when Emma was already 17) show that she had violent, sometimes destructive outbursts. Her early childhood, VERY probably, WAS rife with abuse, neglect and confusion, especially as regarded male authority figures.
Her own mother, Malinda (aka "Martha"), had given in to her fiance-- soon to be her second husband, and at least her third or fourth lover-- Lewis's demands that she send away the THREE living children she had before THEIR marriage. She had seven with him, afterward, all of whom they successfully raised despite poverty, and the fact that a couple of the older children had to drop out of school to help their family. Malinda remained with Lewis until her death in 1932. He died 10 years later.
According to interviews with a daughter from this latter marriage, there was little contact with the children of Malinda's first marriage. One of whom, the troubled Anna-- aka "Abigail"-- was confined to another Vineland institution, though I've reason to believe she MAY have been released and married. (Anna's full brother, Harry, died of TB at age 30.) There was virtually NO contact with Emma, who was Malinda's girlhood "mistake"!
Emma's grandfather, John (aka "Justin") WAS on legal record as having been accused of incest with his younger daughter Margaret, as Goddard noted. (Unfortunate Margaret did not wed until she was middle-aged, and never bore another child after the death of the baby conceived with her father.) Prior to being sent to Vineland, Emma had spent time, and may have lived, with this grandfather and his young second wife (Emma had been named for her deceased grandmother, whom Goddard had called "Eunice"), ONE of the places where she may have become accustomed to "slapping and scolding."
There WAS a notorious, extreme tendency to alcoholism, which ran up and down that particular branch of the family tree. The ancestor, John, whom Goddard called "Martin, Jr.", and who was alleged to be a dead-ringer for his distant cousin Samuel (aka "Frederick"), was often the butt of neighbors' dubious jokes; they liked to goad him into drinking so much, that he'd fall off his porch. Goddard's contemptuous description of John's daughter Mary ---"Old Moll Kallikak"--- drunkenly tripping into an open fire IS, alas, also quite true: it made the local Hunterdon newspaper in 1854 (this old article was online.) Ironically, "Old Moll" wasn't very old--- just 36. Perhaps drinking and a poor, harsh life had made her SEEM old.
Other relatives in that part of the family lived colorful lives, to say the least. There was George and his gypsies, and another cousin who'd borne an illegitimate child to someone who became an official in Washington DC--- this is also documented, though of course the details of the nature of the actual relationship are lacking. It COULD have been an ill-starred love affair, after all. Some young members of the family were, seemingly, so lively and uninhibited, that the Raritan truant officer was quoted as hoping to run them out of town.
Yet there were hardy survivors amongst them; one of Emma's young cousins had suffered such a terrible gash while chopping wood (though yet just a boy, he was already working on someone's farm) that at first, the local newspapers reported that he had died. Yet, to the surprise, relief (and amusement) of the paper's editor, word came a couple of weeks later that the "dead" lad had recovered and was back to eating hearty meals. Emma herself, and some of her younger half-sisters lived into their late 80's--- one, the woman who'd given the interview, endured for many years after having had her leg amputated !
And though Lewis seemed harsh to Malinda's previous children, he was protective of their own; when his wife developed a fear of her children crossing the new trolley tracks to walk to school, he arranged to have them attend a school in the opposite direction from the trolley line. When Malinda's brother William (whom Goddard called "Beedee"), separated from his wife (as Goddard also reported), Lewis helped them to reconcile (which Goddard did NOT report)! Evidently there was something about this strict, "stubborn" man that settled and gave security to a formerly rootless young woman who had been forced to start working as a domestic by the time she was 13. (Which had, no doubt, led to the sexual exploitation and unwise affairs that eventually produced Emma.) Unfortunately, at least for Emma and Anna, he chose NOT to perform the same favor for his wife's eldest children.
I probably shouldn't conjecture on Emma's feeling toward her blood relatives without further research, but it seems reasonable to assume that they couldn't have been very positive--- after all, THEY did nothing to help her leave the Training School, or later, the State School for adults right across the street. Part of this, of course, probably stemmed from poverty, but as the century progressed, the fortunes even of these less-favored Kallikaks DID rise--- right into the middle class-- and beyond in some cases. For example, the sons of "Old Moll's" sister Sarah "Old Sal", were soldiers in the Civil War, and her grandchildren pursued respectable careers; one, a teacher, and another, a banker/businessman. Her further descendants were in the military and some worked for the government.
Matters eventually progressed to the point that families did not always accept institutionalization even for severely retarded offspring, and the rules of commitment COULD be more easily bent if family members wanted to take back a "defective" member-- which Emma certainly was NOT. At this time, I still don't know who kept signing for Emma's commitment at Vineland, but as I will show, it appears, at least the last couple of decades, this was her own choice.
Yet, even so, as she grew up, and especially after Goddard's work made her famous, Vineland DID give Emma many responsibilities, at which she continued to excel. You might cynically infer that the institution was benefitting from her cheap labor, but it was more complex that that. In every way, Vineland Training School strove to be a self-supporting institution, even producing its own food at the Menantico colony whose pictures were featured in issue #20. (And just a comment--- those houses just didn't strike me as being sinister. If they were repaired, they'd be fairly attractive, IMO.)
Emma even acted as a practical nurse during an epidemic, which earned her high praise. She lost a finger when a delirious patient bit her hand during feeding, and carried the disfigurement as a "badge of honor." Despite her reputed volatility, she was devoted to children, caring for them at Vineland (one wonders if she knew Carol Buck), and as a nursemaid for several of the staff. These children continued to visit and write to Emma when they were adults, and one even named her own daughter for her. So, even while Emma wasn't allowed to have children of her own, she had some consolation, if not compensation.
Ironically, the epidemic facilitated the first of Emma's ill-starred love affairs, which involved a bit of derring-do on her part. She and the other nurse's aides were quartered in a separate building with far less supervision than they had been used to. Emma, who had a mutual attraction with a maintenance worker, used her carpentry skills to take her window apart every night, so they could wander the grounds together, then put it back together when she returned. When they were caught, the worker was dismissed and sent away; apparently he made no further effort to contact his girlfriend or to have her released. Emma protested, "We didn't do anything wrong--- It was only Nature!" The loss of her finger might well have been secondary to the loss of her lover.
Vineland also gave Emma, in its paternally indulgent way, far more privileges to pursue her own interests (aside from men) than she would have had if she had gone "into service", worked in a factory, or on a subsistance farm like her mother, the usual occupations for women of her class. She always had a decent place to live, three meals a day, and adequate medical care. Beyond the basics, there was always wood and tools for her furniture projects, fabric and thread for her sewing, sheet music for her cornet, and she was even permitted to raise Persian kittens for sale for a while, as well as selling the other products of her handiwork. In addition to raising the kittens (for which she had built a special cradle), she was allowed to keep many other pets over the years, and enjoyed the gardens and outdoors in general. She worked as a teacher's aide, and was even mistaken for a teacher by visiting professionals. She acted and sang in amateur theatricals.
To top it off, she WAS attractive, not only in body, but in character--- she had "a queen's knack for inspiring devotion", as one of Goddard's assistants put it. This was a lifelong trait--- there's a picture of Emma in her seventies, still slim, with her expansive smile, in a pretty if simple dress, sitting on a park bench, looking sprightly if not flirtatious. Many observers commented on the way she turned men's heads, yet without conscious coquetry on her part. (Of course, this personal magnetism made the senior staffers nervous for years.) The fact that people thought she WAS a teacher implies that, in circumstances of responsiblity, she behaved with decorum and confidence.
Warm-hearted Emma repaid devotion with devotion, was encouraged to write to the staff, sent Christmas greetings, and did favors--- she was even so fond of Dr. Goddard, she named her favorite cat "Henry" for the "dear friend who wrote the book that made me famous"--- implying that, at some point, they MAY have interacted on a first-name basis. Whatever his professional opinion, apparently Goddard had personally treated her with kindness and-- because he was a genuinely devoted, faithful, and rather prudish married man--- with respectful restraint.
I haven't the answer yet as to whether Emma actually READ the book, though she was, very probably, capable of it, and WAS made aware of its contents. She was one of the recipients of Goddard's later-life Christmas letters, which included complex concepts and ideas she claimed to understand. Goddard, for all his flaws in opinion, WAS an accessible writer, one reason why "The Kallikaks" was such a bestseller. The fact that he saw fit to include Emma at that point, tends to show that he remembered her with affection--- possibly, mixed with guilt !
During her years working as a nursemaid, Emma was taken on short vacations with the families, and as she grew older, a sympathetic social worker took her for weekend trips further afield which she enjoyed very much. But as time went on, it was almost inevitable that Emma developed an "institutional" mentality. She accepted her classification--- "I don't like the 'moron' part of it, but at least I'm not idiotic like some of the poor things around here." (Apparently showing that there's even a pecking order in training schools for the retarded, and that Emma, whose position at Vineland had always been ambiguous, was not above indulging in it.)
And, as time went on, stories Emma heard and read, and exposure to the media, convinced her that she was safer and better off where she was. Then, when she was in her late seventies, Vineland, which was shifting venues from on-site cottages to group homes around the town, offered to release her into the larger community. By then, Emma was suffering terribly from arthritis that had robbed her of the hobbies and avocations she so loved, and she knew quite well that she would need specialized care. She was not about to give up the only home she had ever known, and that home was the institution. So she was allowed to stay on until she died, and beyond, in the simple cemetery there.
As for Henry Herbert Goddard, I may be going out on a limb here, but I believe the reason the tone of "The Kallikaks" study was so harsh (aside from selective editing) was because of his genuine outrage over the conditions Elizabeth Kite reported to him. He had been raised in Maine, in an almost Puritanically-strict Quaker environment, and so, it's understandable that his confoundment must have grown with every story of perfidy provided by Miss Kite. Yet, there was much in Emma's family history that uncomfortably parallelled his own!
HHG had been born (1866), like Emma, into the less-favored branches of TWO illustrious family trees, the Goodards and the Winslows. His cousins included rocket scientist Robert Goddard, and father & son naturalists Pliny and David Goddard (the latter, a prize-winning botanist and drug-policy advisor under several Adminstrations, referred to his notorious cousin as "Feebleminded Goddard".) Henry's father was a once-prosperous farmer who had sunk, by the time of his son's birth, from landowner to day laborer, partly due to permanent disability from being gored by a bull. His mother, Sarah, became a fanatical Quaker missionary, leaving her crippled husband and son to the care of Henry's much older, married sisters while she preached all over North America.
Even so, Henry had positive memories of his parents. "They loved me uncommonly", he wrote, "I was the child of their [old] age." There was, apparently, little physical punishment (the father, who died when Henry was nine, was "very gentle") though both parents were quite firm in imposing their beliefs, especially about tee-totalling; their son avoided any drink stronger than cider. Henry grew up in intense poverty (but "genteel"--- no infamous behavior like the rudderless Kallikaks he later wrote about) , only partly relieved by handouts from the local Quaker congregation and earnings from his mother's missions. How he felt about his sisters and their husbands, who raised him after the father's death, may have been something else--- it's interesting to note that, when Henry's wife died, and he grew old, he went to live in California with her relatives, rather than anyone in his sisters' families, or back to Maine, period.
In any case, the Quakers DID provide Henry with an education--- in a local boarding school, and later, via a scholarship, Haverford College, both of which he later described in almost Dickensian terms. The boarding school was surrounded by a high fence, and in both institutions, the students' routine was monastic. The general intent was to protect the fledgling Quakers from corruption and evil, preparing them for modest careers in teaching and preaching. Henry's instructors discouraged him from reading for enjoyment, and insisted that he bury himself in Greek--- which had its effect, years later, when he was inventing creative terminology such as the word "moron" and, of course, "Kallikak" ("kallos" meaning good; "kakos" meaning bad.)
Like Emma at Vineland, Henry was not exactly mistreated in HIS schools, either. He won prizes for his speeches, was involved with the school newspaper and the brand-new YMCA (much more religiously-oriented than it is now.) And, in spite of his deceptively compact form and smallish hands, he played on the football team, back when the game, more like rugby then, lacked all modern pretenses at safety. Later, he was even, briefly, a football coach while also teaching in a college in California. Eventually, fulfilling a boyhood dream, the surprisingly sturdy Henry found time to go mountain-climbing in Europe while there for psychological conferences !
He made a fair number of life-long friends, but in boyhood, he was quiet and shy ---unless overwhelmed with a new enthusiasm (not always a good thing, like when he later became enamored and then obsessed with intelligence studies.) He developed another trait that reflected his fatherless state: When seized by his enthusiasms, he eagerly, perhaps TOO eagerly, sought approval and acquaintance with prominent men in whatever field his interests currently lay. (Also, sometimes not a good thing.) It was, indeed, this life-long tendency toward almost boyish eagerness, even ingenuousness, which endeared him to his friends, to such an extent that, in his old age, he himself derided his "childishness."
Henry was not very attractive as a youth, with an oblong head, topped by a receding hairline by his teens, and a long nose, all of which he later brought into balance with a substantial mustache. He was already repressing whatever resentments he had against his absent mother, dead father, busy sisters and brothers-in-law, and, of course, his teachers. In old age, Henry would write of the occasions he had been made to feel lonely and incompetent, and that he HAD initially felt empathy with his Vineland pupils. "I was one of them!"
Henry's destiny seemed to be as an undistinguished teacher in a series of small Quaker schools. It was during one sojourn that he met his wife, Emma Florence Robbins, a fellow teacher. She was over a year older, but petite and pretty; however, she was noted for being "strong-willed." (This may have been the result of being raised, along with many siblings, by a very determined widowed mother who ran the family farm on her own after her husband's early death.) Even so, Emma seemed to be just what the young, lonely Henry needed--- he married her just before his 23rd birthday. He let her set the rules of their home, and, perhaps because they remained childless, the couple was more devoted than most. When apart, they wrote each other several times a day. Observers would comment 25 years later that the Goddards still behaved like love-struck teenagers. Henry would even write to a male colleague that he couldn't come to a meeting he'd been looking forward to, because Emma was sick, and he acted as "nurse and cook." When she died in 1936 (by which time the couple was living in Illinois) Henry's grief and depression was so intense, that his friends all the way back in Vineland worried about him.
But that is getting ahead. Goddard had become interested in the new science of psychology. This meant psychology in its original, purest form, looking for standardized means to scientifically study and quantify human behavior and thought, rather than interacting in a clinical setting to solve the clients' problems. Goddard, as one might have expected of a teacher, was especially interested in the VERY new field of child psychology. He was influenced by the ideas of G. Stanley Hall, a strongly religious pioneer of the emerging discipline. Goddard attended Hall's classes at Clark University in Illinois, and graduated in 1899 with a degree in psychology.
This took place during a time when the first national push for public education was taking place, especially in urban areas, and especially of the waves of immigrants and their children coming over at the turn of that century. The new schools were fraught with problems, including the spread of various diseases and vermin (natural amongst great numbers of children herded together), and also how to handle behavioral, intellectual, and emotional variations that interfered, not only with the school's obvious purpose to teach the "3 R's", but the unstated mission of indoctrinating future citizens to "American" standards of conformity and class. (Based upon Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture, as you might have guessed.)
Like most bureaucracies charged with the solution of huge problems, the developing public school boards went looking for quick, cheap, "one-size-fits-all" solutions.
(to be continued)
Smith, John David
Minds Made Feeble: The Myth and Legacy of the Kallikaks
Pro-Ed (Austin, Texas), 1985
Measuring Minds (Henry Herbert Goddard and the Origins of American Intelligence Testing , Cambridge University Press (Cambridge,U.K.; N.Y.C., N.Y., U.S.A.; Melbourne, Australia; Madrid, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa), 1998, 2001
The ********* Family History, 1693-1850 and beyond (private)
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