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An introduction to the study of the dependent, defective and delinquent classes online

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Dependent, Defective and
Delinquent Classes


Assistant Professor or Social Science in the
University ok Chicago








P R E F A C^^^ORjrl^

We discuss here the subject of the Dependent, Defective and
Delinquent Classes as a part of sociology. Why? Evidently
because there is no place for them in any of the special sciences
which deal with social phenomena. Indispensable as are the
results of economic science, the social treatment of these classes
involves elements far transcending the range of economics under
its most liberal definitions. Ethical science and philosophy are
essential in this inquiry, but the word "ought" has not much to
do with idiots or with Lombroso's " L'Uomo Delinquente " of the
lowest stratum. Political machinery must be invoked, but state-
craft waits for the theoretical issues of several sciences and for
the organization of personal philanthropy to make its efforts
effectual in helping pauper and criminal.

Who are these Dependents, Defectives and Delinquents?
Anthropology and historic sociology declare that they are " out-
cast " survivals of an imperfect past race, living out of their time
in a civilization to which they are not adjusted, or degenerate
offspring of an injured and a defeated stock, or examples of an
arrested development, unfit to endure the strain of modern com-
petition. And yet they are brethren of a common race, in whom
are latent powers akin to those of the highest. In the region of
religion we discover the rational ideals of social treatment of
these forlorn "children of Ishmael," while economic science gives
the industrial laws, morality orders the rules of conduct, political
and legal science advise in respect to the agencies of govern -
ment. Since all science and all arts must contribute, and since
each alone is defective though necessary, a new science must be
invoked to harmonize and direct to an adequate action. This
science, youngest of all, is called "Sociology." The progress of



the other sciences has made its appearance inevitable and neces-
sary, just as the development of the banking system has called
forth the Clearing House of the metropolitan centers.

This book is the fruit of twenty years and more of study and
experience and lecturing on the subjects treated. The contents
have been substantially presented and tested in class work.

The writer believes that in form and contents it is suitable for
a text book in college and University work, for clubs of women
or men seriously engaged in the study of social problems, for
ministers who are perplexed by difficult questions in parish work,
and are seeking light to give on the topics here offered, and for
directors of many kinds of charities in city and state. It may be
used as the basis of correspondence studies for those who wish to
keep in close relation with University life, while busy with the
exacting duties of church or business.

My honored friend. Rev. Oscar McCulloch, called the National
Conference of Charities and Corrections the "Church of the
Divine Fragments." This book is offered as a janitor or verger
to guide visitors about the place made holy by suffering and

And here I may set down with gratitude a few among many
names of persons to whom I am indebted for help and inspira -
tion in this study: Rev. G. W. Northrup, D.D., LL.D., one of
the first teachers of theology to introduce these subjects into the
theological seminary; Rev. H. L. Wayland, D.D., also my
teacher and counsellor; Hon. F. Wayland, LL.D.; Hon. W. P.
Letchworth; Mr. C. D. Kellogg of New York; Mr. N. S.
Rosenau; Rev. F. H. Wines; A. MacDonald, Ph.D.; Mr. Joseph
Nicholson, Superintendent of Detroit House of Correction ; Hon.
A. G. Porter, who aided me in inquiries in Rome. To name all
would be impossible ; but I thank those who have through many
years counselled and helped me with knowledge and with practi-
cal aid in connection with causes that lay heavy on my heart.

The encouragement of President W. R. Harper and of my
genial colleague and Head Professor, A. W. Small, Ph.D., has
been an element too important to leave unmentioned.


I acknowledge here my obligations to members of various
boards with whom I have been associated as Director ; and
especially the Directors of the Rose Orphan Home and Charity
Organization Society of Terre Haute, Indiana ; the Directors of
the Detroit Association of Charities, and of the Michigan Home of
Industry for Discharged Prisoners (and "Mother" D'Arcambal
with them), the Councils of the various Charities of Detroit.

I have indicated what I regard the most important works for
the study of these subjects. "The Reader's Guide" (Putnams)
will direct to other literature, and the bibliographies in such
works as R. M. Smith on " Emigration and Immigration," and
MacDonald on "Criminology" will give exhaustive lists in their
special lines. For the use of others than specialists such biblio -
graphies are not helpful. General readers must have selected
lists. Most of the books named are in public libraries. In small
communities a book club can be formed for the purchase of the
necessary material for study. Specific personal direction can be
had by correspondence with the University Extension Depart-
ment of the University of Chicago, and the methods employed by
them greatly facilitate such study. The work is conducted by
the instructors in the University.

The Universitv" of Chicago, May, 1893.



Introduction. The aim, method and inspiration of this study, i

Chapter I. Definitions 5

Chapter II. Sources of Knowledge : Observation, repre-
sentation in art, recgrds, statistics, special sciences, ... 6

Chapter III. Interest and importance of the subject. The

material and moral cost of these classes, 10


Chapter IV. Classification and social affiliations, . . .13
Chapter V. On the study of typical cases, . . . .15

Chapter VI. Causes of Dependency: Heredity, Environ-
ment and Personal Reaction, . . . . . . . . 17

Chapter VII. General principles relating to the treatment of
Dependency. The governing social ideal, breadth and compre-
hensiveness ; order of analysis and study, 33

Chapter VIII. The Grounds of State aid. Theoretical and
practical objections ; arguments in favor of State Help, . -35

Chapter IX. State Charities : Outdoor Relief. Historical
and comparative ; arguments for and against ; practical conclu-
sion ; principles of administration, 38

Chapter X. Medical Charities : hospitals ; out-patients ; dis-
pensaries ; city physicians ; training schools for nurses ; boards of
health, 46

Chapter XI. The County Poor House ; principles of manage-
ment ; classification ; categories of inspection, . . . .50



Chapter XII./ Homeless Dependents : enforced idleness ; the
tramp, 54

Chapter XIII. Voluntary Charities : individual ; benevolent
relief societies; church charities; endowed charities; state control
of voluntary charities 5^

Chapter XIV. Charity Organization : municipal associations ;
state boards ; national bureau of information, . . . '63

Chapter XV. Care of Dependent Children : foundlings ;
children in the county poor house : asylums ; placing-out ; Mr.
Letchworth's Seventeen Propositions 69



Chapter XVI. iThe Insane : definitions ; statistics ; causes ;
forms ; administration of relief ; popular notions ; legal status ; the
criminal insane ; the insane drunkard, j 78

Chapter XVII.' The Feeble Minded: statistics; character-
istics; classes; methods of care; results,) 92

Chapter XVIII. Epileptics, Dements and Paralytics, . . 97

Chapter XIX. The Blind and the Deaf Mutes, ... 99



Chapter XX. Classification of Criminals: Law and Morals/
definitions ; political, occasional, habitual, professional and in-
stinctive criminals ; Dugdale's classification, . . . .102

Chapter XXI. Crime Causes: Crime, biological and social
factors ; the personal will of criminals, . . . . .111

Chapter XXII, Criminal Anthropology ; Physical. Outline of
methods and results claimed. Lombroso's view considered, , 118


Chapter XXIII. Criminal Anthropology : Psychical, . .125

Chapter XXIV. Criminal Anthropology : Social Elements ;
sex ; vice ; professional ; insanity ; association ; suggestion
(hypnotism), . . . 136

Chapter XXV. Social Treatment of the Criminal : Historical ;
savage and barbarian ; Hebrew ; Roman ; Teutonic ; English ;
Modern, . . . 141

Chapter XXVI. Social Action Anticipating Crime : Modern ;
definitions of jurisdiction ; powers of judges ; law of arrests ;
crimes in law ; rights of children ; receivers of stolen goods ; miner
offenses, . . . . . . .... 182

Chapter XXVII. The Criminal in the Hands of Justice; the
modern doctrine of the end of punishment ; the estimate of obsolete
penalties ; the outline of a prison system for the United States ; the
English System and the Elmira System compared, . . .194

Chapter XXVIII. Preventive Measures Against Crime : identi-
fication and registration, Bertillon system ; discharged prisoners'
aid ; substitutes for arrest and imprisonment ; juvenile delinquents ;
cutting off immigration ; education of the police in preventive
methods ; public opinion, . ....'... 224


Chapter XXIX. Population and Territory : normal and patho- "
logical conditions ; remedies, - 232

Chapter XXX. Economical Organs and Functions ; industrial
health and disease ; remedies, Utopian and practicable. Social-
ism. Old Age Pensions ; insurance ; cooperation ; governmental
and voluntary efforts to promote general welfare ; extension of state
action ; industrial education ; provident schemes ; employment
bureaus, and councils of justice 237

Chapter XXXI. Domestic Relations : social and abnormal ;
remedial. The Home as an agency of social progress,. . .251


Chapter XXXII. Institutions of Culture ; Schools, Press,
Clubs. Perils, maladies and remedial forces, 256

Chapter XXXIII. Institutions for Promoting Social Welfare . 258

Chapter XXXIV. Political Organization in relation to Social
Disorder, 261

Chapter XXXV. The Institution of Social Ideals: the
churches; their relation to philanthropy; the end of dogmatic
authority of ecclesiastics and the new era of moral power ; hopes
and prospects ; conclusion, 264

Abbreviations. The only abbreviated forms necessary to explain
are N. C. C. (Reports of National Conference of Charities and Correc-
tions) and N. P. A. (Reports of National Prison Association).





" Masses indeed : and yet, singular to say, if, with an effort of
imagination, thou follow them, over broad France into their clay hovels,
into their garrets and hutches, the masses consist all of units. Every
unit of whom has his own heart and sorrows ; stands covered there with
his own skin, and if you . . . prick him, he will bleed." . . .

Dreary, languid do these struggle in their obscure remoteness, their
hearth cheerless, their diet thin. For them in this world rises no Era of
Hope. . . . Untaught, uncomforted, unfed. . . . Especially it
is an old truth, that wherever huge physical evil is, there, as the parent
and origin of it, has moral evil to a proportionate extent been."

I. The Aim of this Course. It is not possible to give
full instruction and training for administrative offices in
institutions of charity by means of lectures. Nurses of the
sick, physicians to the insane, and secretaries of charity
organizations must find their discipline in the actual work
of their offices and in special schools for technical prepara-
tion. It is here our effort and aim to give educated leaders
of society such a method of study and such codified results
of past study and experience that they may think effectively
and act wisely. Those who shape and direct public
opinion, and who are inspired by philanthropic purpose.


need the outlook of sociological methods of regarding these
complicated and difficult problems. While experts can not
be fully prepared by class work and books, they may receive
in this way a more scientific direction than if they are con-
fined to the discipline of daily experience in some particular

2. Method. The material of our study lies scattered in
many books and reports and pamphlets. We shall here
attempt to state in the most condensed form possible the
elements of the subject, and the most important received
conclusions of the most reliable authorities, with somewhat
full bibliography for future readings on special points. We
profess to give nothing more than an introductory essay on
a subject of world -wide interest. An indexed note book
may well be used to gather facts and reasonings, and keep
them in accessible form for use. It is wise for a stu-
dent to make an inventory of his own knowledge of this
subject before he enters the field. One must proceed from
his known to the less known and the unknown.

3. Personal Interest. Progress will be promoted by ask-
ing oneself : Why should I take up this difficult and some-
times repulsive theme ? What are the sources of personal
interest in this mournful subject ? Let no one enter here
who is not prepared to meet difficulties of many kinds.

A sustaining purpose of high order is required for the
study of dependency, because a thorough knowledge de-
mands of us that we submit our senses of sight, hearing,
and smell to very disagreeable phenomena. Investigation
cannot be entirely by proxy. Mr. Booth prepared himself
for his great work on East London by taking lodgings
among the people whose life and labors he determined to


know and reveal. Mr. McDonald's recent book on Crim-
inology is enriched by illustrations gathered from prisoners
in their cells. Indignation, disgust and pity succeed each
other. Sympathy is pain. The subject is full of intellec-
tual difficulties. One must expect to meet disappointments.
There is no ready - made solution of these problems. If
careful thinking and boundless self-denial could remove
pauperism, the world ere this time would not contain a

But if one is fond of knotty questions that put thought
to strain ; if horrors fascinate the philanthropic disposition ;
if there is much of the "mind that was in Christ Jesus,"
then the study of dependency will arouse curiosity and
attract eager interest.




All human beings are dependent in infancy. Nothing
is more helpless than a babe. But the children of capable
families are not "dependents" in the sense of the word
used in this Introduction. In a certain sense adults of the
most civilized communities are most dependent on each
other. Increase of unlikeness of parts carries with it
increased dependence of parts. The savage makes all he
requires, but the civilized man makes one article and buys
ten thousand articles of all the world. Nor are all the
poor ** dependents. " Most people are relatively poor. A
poor Yankee would be rich in Chjna. A poor Irishman
would be wealthy in Patagonia. /** Dependents " are those
members of society who cannot or will not support them-
selves without aid of others. It is easy to see that Depend-
ency admits degrees. It s*hades off upward into the simple
poverty of misfortune, and downward into beggary and
crime. In its extreme form among adults, dependency may
be called Pauperism, a word which carries with it a sugges-
tion of reproach. The pauper is a social parasite who
attaches himself to other members of the community, and,
by living at the expense of others, like a Hermit Crab,
suffers loss of faculty by atrophy and disuse. Pauperism



is a loathsome disease, more difficult of cure, many think,
than crime.



1. Observation is the prime source of real knowledge.
He who would have genuine impressions, by which to
vivify and correct his reading, must go into the homes of
the extremely poor, and have actual dealings with them.
One may go with visitors of relief societies and poor
authorities of city or town ; or with a city physician called
to treat a " county case ; " or resort to pauper hospitals
and poor-houses; or walk in forlorn regions with mission
workers who know the haunts and ways of the destitute.
So Mr. Dugdale studied at first hand the habitats and
customs of "The Jukes" in New York, and so Mr. McCul-
loch studied the "Tribe of Ishmael" in his Indianapolis

2. Art. To deepen and widen and refresh the fading
impressions of observation the representations of art are
valuable. Painters and sculptors recall jaded spirits to feel
the reality of poverty. Writers of fiction suggest new fields
of research, and intensify the moral reaction against
morbid social conditions. "Ginx's Baby" stings us with
satire ; Dickens attracts us to walk with him in his descent
into the Inferno and Purgatory of human sorrows ; Bell-
amy's "Looking Backward" has at least the merit of
arousing the selfish from dreams of luxury ; Mrs. Brown-
ing's "Cry of the Children" thrills the sensitive heart,


and her "Aurora Leigh" opens all philosophies, and all
wounds, and all modes of cure ; Hood's " Song of the
Shirt" has not become antiquated where Sweaters toil;
and Hugo's *'Les Miserables" still creep along the alleys
of our towns to unhealthy dens.

It is true that such works of art have their limitations.
They often describe scenes that no longer exist, they seldom
offer scientific analyses of causes or offer adequate remedies.
The novelist is free to fly in air, but the sociologist must
walk on solid earth, close to facts, and the reformer must
deal with reality and not with dreams. Still the " Children
of Gibeon " appeal to us as if they were at our doors, and
"All Sorts and Conditions of Men" are our near contem-
poraries. Such is the power of strong imagination that we
can go with Meriwether in his "Tramp at Home" and
learn many facts that thus unhelped would never come to
our notice. Mr. Riis in "How the Other Half Live" and
" Children of the Poor," by the aid of written words and
photography leads us, even though little willing, to almost
converse with the inhabitants of the dolorous tenements of
our metropolis.

Crabbe's Poems: "The Village" (English Almshouse).

Hogarth's Pictures.

Barrie's " Little Minister."


Abb^ Le Roux, "Thoughts of a Parish Priest."

3. Records. During the past fifteen years the Associa-
tions of Charity have piled up records of actual cases which
are a mine of information in respect to particular persons
and families. The reports of charitable institutions, the
reports of state boards of charities and corrections, the
government tables and consul reports, are rich treasuries of
exact information.


4. Statistics. These impressions of special forms of de-
pendency require the aid of statistics. The chief uses of
statistics are, to secure accurate and mathematical measure-
ment of the extent of the evil of pauperism and kindred
social diseases ; to map out the geographical situation of the
worst plague spots ; to disclose the causes of the phenom-
ena at their spring ; to reveal the tendencies of the current
of poverty and distress, the fluctuations, eddies, changes in
the turbid stream. Models of such investigation are found
in Mr. Dugdale's "The Jukes," McCulloch's "Tribe of Ish-
mael," and Booth's "Life and Labor."

5. The Special Sciences contribute facts, laws, reasonings.
One great reason for past failures to deal successfully with
pauperism is that it has been attacked at a single point and
regarded from a single standpoint. The conviction is
growing upon all competent workers in this field that such
fragmentary and partial methods are doomed to failure.
He who would study Dependency with the best results
must first master the principles of biological science. He
may not be an expert in physical science, but he must know
the laws of heredity in the animal world, the imperative
commands of sanitary science and art, the laws of food and
habitation. Psychology must contribute a special study of
the general laws of thinking and feeling, and those special
modes of thinking and feeling which are peculiar to depend-
ents and defectives. The Political Economist must be
asked to tell us what industrial conditions are most sure to
produce or increase a tendency to dependency, and what
economic principles must be observed by philanthropists
if they wish to do good and not harm.

Ethical science must tell us the fundamental obligations
of society to the broken members and the grounds of vol-


untary or governmental action. The Historian must be
drawn upon for an account of the past social conditions
out of which these evils have grown, and of the efforts and
experiments of philanthropy in other times.

Political science will show the methods of government
in dealing with the class under consideration, the organs
of the state adapted to this end, and the limits of the pow-
ers of lawmakers and judges and magistrates. And then
our theory and practice will be greatly affected by our real
convictions in respect to God and the relations of men to
each other as children of a Common Father.

At last all these forms of knowledge must be coordi-
nated in sociology, their proper place and relative value
found and estimated, and practical conclusions drawn from
the entire series. He who imagines that any amiable
impulse will answer for science is sure to blunder. The
pages to follow, imperfect as they must be, are inspired by
a profound conviction that the time is ripe for a more
thorough and adequate treatment of these subjects. If we
can succeed in one field of social study the same method
will help us forward in other fields.

If more than twenty-two years of almost daily contact
with the poor in an attempt to help them by personal,
parish, institutional, and governmental means ; if constant
study of the greatest writers in medical, sanitary, economic,
ethical, religious, political and social science, if long jour-
neys for research in many towns and cities, in America and
in Europe, if years of converse and discussion and corres-
pondence with wise and generous men and women over
these themes ; if constant experience as an organizer, admin-
istrator, trustee and director of important charities ; if all
this entitles one to offer a humble contribution to this sub-
ject, then this course of essays may claim a small corner


for its own. Without such experience and study the author
would not feel justified in offering one more book to a
long-suffering public.



I. Pauperism is Costly. The economic effects of
dependency deserves study and consideration.

Mr. McCuUoch (N. C. C, 1891, pp. 12-13) makes the fol-
lowing estimates, which must be compared with the results
of the last census and other recent sources. In 1880 the
census reported 481,240 as belonging to the dependent,
defective and delinquent classes. This did not include
those in jails, nor was it in anyway correct as to those
receiving out-door relief. The view presented in the glow-
ing pages of Mr. Carnegie's " Triumphant Democracy " is
based on the confessedly imperfect figures of the census of
1880, and is not reliable. But, taking the figures as they
stand, they represent a half-million. Marshalling them in
regiments, we should have these results :

Adults. I^diotic^ 76,895 ; Insane, 91,997; Blind, 48,-
928 ; Deaf-mutes, 33,665 ; Paupers, 88,665 ; Prisoners, 59,-
255 ; Total, 400,000.

Children. Deaf-mutes, 6,617 ; Blind, 2,032 ; Orphan,
59,161; Feeble-minded, 2,472; in Reform Schools, 11,-
340 ; Total, 81,622.

Nor would this include the vast number of children
cared for by Children's Aid Societies and the neglected
children of the street. But this number, large as it is,
would be immensely swelled by the more careful statistics


of 1890. Mr. Ely, in North American Review, April, 1891,
taking the report of the conference for 1887 as a basis,
estimates an average of 250,000 out-door and 110,000 in-

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Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonAn introduction to the study of the dependent, defective and delinquent classes → online text (page 1 of 21)