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THE RISE OF URBAN AMERICA



ADVISORY EDITOR

Richard C . Wade

PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN HISTORY
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO



THE
JUKES



Robert L. Dugdale



ARNO PRESS
&

The New York Times

NEW YORK 1970



Reprint Edition 1970 by Arno Press Inc.



Reprinted from a copy in The University of Chicago Library



LC# 74-112542
ISBN 0-405-02451-7



THE RISE OF URBAN AMERICA
ISBN for complete set 0-405-02430-4



Manufactured in the United States of America



THE JUKES

A STUDY IN CRIME, PAUPERISM
DISEASE, AND HEREDITY

BY

ROBERT L. DUGDALE



FOURTH EDITION



WITH A FOREWORD BY

ELISHA HARRIS, M.D.

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY PRISON ASSOCIATION

AND AN INTRODUCTION BY

FRANKLIN H. GIDDINGS

PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

NEW YORK AND LONDON
Gbe ftntcher&ocfcer press



COPYRIGHT, 1877

BY
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

COPYRIGHT, 1910

BY
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

(For Fourth Edition)



TTbe fmfcfcerbocfter prce0, Hew Berk



INTRODUCTION

"THE JUKES" has long been known as one of those
important books that exert an influence out of all pro-
portion to their bulk. It is doubtful if any concrete
study of moral forces is more widely known, or has pro-
voked more discussion, or has incited a larger number
of students to examine for themselves the immensely
difficult problems presented by the interaction of " hered-
ity* with "environment.'

Its achievement, moreover, is attributable to the
qualities of the work itself, as much as to the unusual
nature of its subject matter. It is not too much to say
that when the first edition of "The Jukes" was pub-
lished, it was the best example of scientific method ap-
plied to a sociological investigation. Mr. Dugdale was
no closet philosopher. Neither did he depend upon data
gathered for him by other men. He went himself into
the field, asked his own questions, and got concrete im-
pressions at first hand. Then, analyzing his materials
and drawing inductions, he kept strictly within his data.
He had no hypothesis to verify, no theoretical antagonist
to throw down. His mind was intent on discovering
the truth, whatever it might turn out to be, and presenting
it completely, clearly, and simply.

His readers have not always been so ingenuous, cer-
tainly not always so cautious. An impression quite
generally prevails that "The Jukes" is a thorough-going

iii



IV INTRODUCTION

demonstration of "hereditary criminality,* " hereditary
pauperism,' 'hereditary degeneracy," and so on. It is
nothing of the kind, and its author never made such claim
for it. He undoubtedly believed in the hereditary trans-
mission of character tendencies, as of physical traits, and
here and there he points out what seem to him to be
evidences of "heredity,' in this sense, in the " Jukes"
blood. But he is ever careful to say "seemingly,' or
"apparently/ or otherwise to warn the reader that the
conclusion is tentative. Far from believing that heredity
is fatal, Mr. Dugdale was profoundly convinced that
"environment' can be relied on to modify, and ulti-
mately to eradicate even such deep-rooted and wide-
spreading growths of vice and crime as the "Jukes"
group exemplified.

Since Mr. Dugdale 's studies came to a too early end the
whole subject of heredity has undergone re-examination
at the hands of biologists. Notions that satisfied Mr.
Darwin have profoundly been modified by Weismann's
contention that acquired characteristics are not trans-
missible, and by the discovery of the Mendelian law.
No scientific man of good standing would now venture
to affirm that we know enough about human heredity
to justify the social reformer in basing any very radical
practical program of social reform upon biological con-
clusions. We can only say that probably heredity is a
fateful factor in the moral, and therefore in the social,
realm, but that we need an immense amount of patient
research to determine exactly what it is, and what it does.

The incontrovertible conclusion that Mr. Dugdale's
investigations establish, then, is this: The factor of
"heredity," whatever it may be, and whether great or



INTRODUCTION y

small, always has the coefficient, "environment/ 1 and if
bad personal antecedents are reinforced by neglect,
indecent domestic arrangements, isolation from the dis-
turbing and stimulating influences of a vigorous civili-
zation, and, above all, if evil example is forced upon the
child from his earliest infancy, the product will inevitably
be an extraordinary high percentage of pauperism, vice,
and crime. Two or three rather important tentative
conclusions are: Illegitimacy as such does not invariably
entail viciousness or criminality in descendants; crime
is correlated with the crossing of vicious blood with a more
vigorous outside strain; pauperism is correlated with
close inbreeding of a vicious and weakened strain.

"The Jukes' 1 has long been out of print, to the great
regret of all strictly scientific students of sociology and
social economy. The publishers render a service to the
cause of right thinking and sound teaching in bringing
out a new edition.

FRANKLIN H. GIDDINGS.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, July 20, 1920.



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.



THE object of issuing these essays is to invite criticism, if the subjects
and their treatment entitle them to notice. They are purely tentative, the
results of two special inquiries, the first of County Jails in 1874, the last of
State Prisons in 1875, ordered by resolution of the Prison Association of
New York.

" The Jukes " is a pseudonyme used to protect from aspersion worthy
members of the family therein studied, and for convenience of treatment,
to reduce the forty-two family names included in the lineage to one ge-
neric application. An author who, under such circumstances, puts forth
a work requiring great precision of statement and freedom from precon-
ceived bias, is bound to state :

First : the reason for the inquiry, Sig. M. BELTRANI-SCALIA, In-
spector of Prisons in Italy, asking what is crime in those who commit it ?
says : " Until we shall have studied crime in its perpetrators and in all its
relations and different aspects, we will never be able to discover the best
means to prevent or correct it, nor can we say that penitentiary science
has made any great progress. Convicts must be studied in their outward
manifestations, because, by examining all the surrounding circumstances,
we shall discover what we aim at truth. Leaving aside all abstract specu-
lations and uncertain theories, it is requisite that in moral science, we
should follow the same path that has been so advantageously taken in the
study of natural science * * * because moral facts, as well as those
which are called natural facts, have a cause so to be." After going over
the history of the discussions on penitentiary reform for the last fifty years,
he adds : " The study of the prisoner is the greatest need still felt after
so many years of toil and debate. We have just reached that point where
we should have commenced, because, after so much labor, we have only
reached an empty space."

Second : the authority on which his statements rest ; These are for
genealogies, intemperance and social habits, the testimony of old resi-
dents who have known the older branches, of relatives, of employers, of
records and of officials. For diseases : physicians and poor-house records.
For pauperism : the poor-house records. For out-door relief : the books of
town poor-masters. For crimes : the records of the county clerk's office,
the sheriff's books and prison registers. No other testimony has been
accepted for crime and pauperism except that of official records ; and as
many of these could not be obtained, the facts in these respects are great-
ly understated.

Third : the manner in which the facts have been gathered. In the
genealogy of the " Jukes," the method employed has been to avoid method



2 PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.

lest I should unconsciously fall into the error of being dominated by fore-
gone conclusions. I have therefore merely recorded in the order of their
occurrence all the authenticated facts of each life brought to my notice,
giving the age at which they took place, so that the sequence of phe-
nomena could be distinctly traced and the nature of the accompanying
environment be noted, to enable us to compare generation with generation
and measure the relative importance of heredity and environment in the
shaping of individual careers. Difficulties, most of them surmountable,
prevented my including many topographical, political, social, economic,
hygienic and other factors which belong to the inquiry, and this defective-
ness in the range of facts presented precludes my offering any conclusions
authoritatively ; but the accumulated testimony illustrates the application
and justification of the treatment of the subject discussed.

The second paper is the result of an examination, of felon convicts on
a very ample schedule, covering their physical, mental, moral and ances-
tral traits to test the accuracy of what purports to be the public records of
crime in this State ; to establish the value of expert work in making a
minute census of the prison population, including the trustworthiness of
convict testimony, and to lay the basis for a wider and more thorough ap
plication of the method of research pursued in the study of the " Jukes."
The effort to trace back the genealogy in these cases was sufficiently
extended to fulfil some of the conditions of the present investigation, but
no exhaustive prosecution of the subject was pushed, as no adequate
means were at hand to that end. Thus, even the limited number of sched-
ules (233) of criminals gathered remain in hand, till adequate authority
and means shall warrant the further prosecution of the research to positive
conclusions.

I am informed that $28,000 was raised in two days to purchase a rare
collection of antique jewelry and bronzes recently discovered in classic
ground, forty feet below the cttbris. I do not hear of as many pence being
offered to fathom the debris of our civilization, however rich the yield. I
do not complain that men of wealth expend their means as they prefer, but
it seems not captious that I should wish crime and pauperism were as
rare as the exhumed treasures, that they might arouse equal zeal for deep
research. There is, perhaps, yet hope, for these subjects have a claim to
far greater antiquity inasmuch as they reach back to time immemorial,
which assuredly antedates the bronzes.

R. L. D.
New York, May, 1877.



FOREWORD.

The line of inquiry pursued by Mr. DUGDALE and briefly
recited in these pages, will aid all persons searching out the
preventable sources of crime and endeavoring to repress it.
Whoever carefully investigates the history of individual offenders
and traces out the careers of typical groups of the offending
classes, will recognize the practical bearings of this definite and
comprehensive study of the physical, mental and social circum-
stances under which they are nurtured.

A departure downward, from virtue to vice and crime, is*
possible in the career of any youth; but the number of well-born
and well-trained children who thus fall is exceedingly small.
Habitual criminals spring almost exclusively from degenerating
stocks; their youth is spent amid the degrading surroundings of
physical and social defilement, with only a flickering of the
redeeming influence of virtuous aspiration. The career of of-
fenders so trained, at last becomes a reckless warfare against
society; and when the officers of justice overtake them and con-
sign them to prisons, the habits of vicious thought and criminal
action have acquired the strength and quality of instincts.

The correctional discipline which is sought for in our prisons
and reformatories, although a necessary public duty, is vastly
more expensive and unsatisfactory than the application of pre-
ventive measures would be. These latter must be adjusted
within the bosom of society, and will be effective just in pro-
portion to the intelligence, health and active virtues of the people.

In the progress of medical science the close study of healthful
as well as morbid conditions has resulted in defining the rules of
hygiene, which treats of the prevention and extinction of the
causes of disease. In like manner a search into the sources of
the habitually criminal classes reveals that out of the same social

3



4 FOREWORD.

soil from which spring the majority of the criminals, there, also,
chiefly grow up the vagrants and paupers the ignorant, vicious
and incapable. The prevention of crime requires the same
comprehensive knowledge and treatment of the sanitary and
physiological, the domestic and social, the educational, industrial
and religious interests of the common people, as must be applied
to prevent diseases and their entailment. Mr. DUGDALE'S inquiry
into the lineage of perhaps the largest family of criminals and
paupers ever studied, and his subsequent prosecution of a similar
investigation in the State prisons, are well designed to establish
a sound basis for the effectual repression of the causes of crime;
for in all that relates to human society and the wants of mankind,
!< the determination of evils is the first step of their remedies."

Rarely has such a patient and philosophical inquirer as Mr.
DUGDALE penetrated the social hades of the dangerous classes,
and in their own abodes so photographed them as vagabonds, as
offenders, as the out-door poor of a country, as felons and mis-
creants, that their unvarnished picture is recognized by all who
ever saw these " Jukes " or any of their kind. It is a duty for me
to bear testimony to the scrupulous and exhaustive methods of
investigation adopted by Mr. DUGDALE in his researches into the
physical and social condition of this great group, which, as well
in ancestry as hereditary out-come, presents a complete physio-
logical and moral record of the degeneracy which fills prisons and
almshouses and mocks the almoner of out-door and way-side relief.
A more enlightened student of social conditions than the author
of this record has probably never before set about investigating
the natural history of crime and pauperism; and as the individual
and family histories which he gleaned and grouped in this inves-
tigation were laid before me progressively verified, and his
inquiries were made under official appointment by the Prison
Association, as one of its executive committee, every assurance is
given respecting the correctness of this study of ruined generations.

ELISHA HARRIS, M. D.,
Corres. Sec'y. Prison Association of N. Y.



THE JUKES



THE JUKES.

A RECORD AND STUDY OF THE RELATIONS OF CRIME,
PAUPERISM, DISEASE AND HEREDITY.

IN July, 1874, the New York Prison Association having deputed
me to visit thirteen of the county jails of this State and report
thereupon, I made a tour of inspection in pursuance of that ap-
pointment. No specially striking cases of criminal careers, trace-
able through several generations, presented themselves till

county was reached. Here, however, were found six persons, under
four family names, who turned out to be blood relations in some
degree. The oldest, a man of fifty-five, was waiting trial for re-
ceiving stolen goods ; his daughter, aged eighteen, held as witness
against him ; her uncle, aged forty-two, burglary in the first degree ;
the illegitimate daughter of the latter's wife, aged twelve years, upon
which child the latter had attempted rape, to be sent to the reform-
atory for vagrancy ; and two brothers in another branch of the
family, aged respectively nineteen and fourteen, accused of an as-
sault with intent to kill, they having maliciously pushed a child
over a high cliff and nearly killed him. Upon trial the oldest was
acquitted, though the goods stolen were found in his house, his pre-
vious good character saving him ; the guilt belonged to his brother-
in-law, the man aged forty-two, above mentioned, who was living in
the house. This brother-in-law is an illegitimate child, an habitual
criminal and the son of an unpunished and cautious thief. He
had two brothers and one sister, all of whom are thieves, the sister



8 THE JUKES.

being the contriver of crime, they its executors. The daughter of this
woman, the girl aged eighteen above mentioned, testified at the trial
which resulted in convicting her uncle and procuring his sentence
for twenty years to State prison, that she was forced to join him in
his last foray ; that he had loaded her with the booty, and beat her
on the journey home, over two miles, because she lagged under the
load. When this girl was released, her family in jail and thus left
without a home, she was forced to make her lodging in a brothel
on the outskirts of the city. Next morning she applied to the judge
to be recommitted to prison " for protection ' against specified
carnal outrages required of her and submitted to. She has since
been sent to the house of refuge. Of the two boys, one was dis-
charged by the Grand Jury ; the other was tried and received five
years' imprisonment in Sing Sing.

These six persons belonged to a long lineage, reaching back to
the early colonists, and had intermarried so slightly with the emi-
grant population of the old world that they may be called a strictly
American family. They had lived in the same locality for genera-
tions, and were so despised by the reputable community that their
family name had come to be used generically as a term of reproach.

That this was deserved became manifest on slight inquiry. It
was found that out of twenty-nine males, in ages ranging from fif-
teen to seventy-five, the immediate blood relations of these six per-
sons, seventeen of them were criminals, or fifty-eight per cent ;
while fifteen were convicted of some degree of offense, and received
seventy-one years of sentence. Fuller details are shown in the ta-
ble opposite, the name "Juke" standing for the blood relations of
those found in the jail, the capital "X" for relations by marriage
or cohabitation.

The crimes and misdemeanors they committed were assault and
battery, assault with intent to kill, murder, attempt at rape, petit
larceny, grand larceny, burglary, forgery, cruelty to animals. With
these facts in hand, it was thought wise to extend the investigation
to other branches of the family, and explore it more thoroughly.

The sheriff communicated the names of two gentlemen life-
long residents of the county, one of them 84 years old and for many



THE JUKES.

TABLE I.

Showing Crime in the Illegitimate Branch of Ada Juke.



9













S






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4)


.2


V










rt


^ *T3


y




u,
tl




jj


1


8.9


Q






5


^




O C








u


n


"(3


*** ' C


V




CD


o!


E




U


W




"3

"C
5 rt

o
H




"3

TJ


4*

TJ


Numbei
critni


jl


"3

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13






2Q


2O








X blood


12


16


16






7 1














74


Total


81




^6


22




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79/4



years town physician who gave me the genealogies of many of the
branches of this family, with details of individual biographies. This
opened up so large a field of study, that I then had no idea of its
extent and still less of the unexpected results which a subsequent
analysis disclosed.

Method of study defined. Having brought back a very incom-
plete genealogical tree including 100 persons, Dr. Elisha Harris, the
Corresponding Secretary of the Association, urged me to push the
inquiry, and I returned to the country to resume the search. The
facts in hand both suggested and necessitated a modification of the
conventional methods employed by statisticians in anthropological
studies. Social and moral statistics include the science and the art
of registering, in categories, such analogous social facts as are
expressible in numerical terms. There are two forms which are in
vogue, Positive Statistics and Conjectural Statistics.

Positive Statistics, of which the census of population is the best
illustration, merely enumerates facts that are congruous, co-ordinates
them so as to reduce them to a common measure for purposes of
comparison to analogous facts as to quantity, frequency, time and
place, being careful not to alter them by the artifices of mathemati-
cal estimates. The basis of its method is experimental, the process
of its teachings is by exposition, and scientifically it is the simplest



io THE JUKES.

and safest. For these reasons I have given it the preference. In
collating its materials it is liable to a fundamental error, that of
comparing similar facts which are not identical because they do not
occur under similar conditions, as where the frequency of crime
among men is compared to that among women, using official rec-
ords, when we know that the law and the administration of the law
treat women with more leniency than men. But Positive Statistics
does not explain the causes or the consequences of facts, therefore
conclusions drawn from its figures are inferential and may lead to
mistaking coincidences for correlations, as where it is concluded that
because criminals show a larger percentage of illiteracy than the
average of the community, therefore illiteracy is a cause of crime.

Conjectural Statistics consists of Political Arithmetic and the
Theory of Probabilities. The first is a method of computing esti
mates of unknown facts by means of known ones, using the rule of
three or other mathematical devices for that purpose. For instance,
knowing what proportion of paupers to population there is in one
county it assumes that all the other counties in a State have the
same ratio of pauperism, while, by actual count, some of them have
a higher and some a lower ratio. The Theory of Probabilities is a
special application of the above to calculate the chance which a
given event has of occurring or not occurring in a given number of
times, and requires a profound knowledge of mathematics. Life
insurance is based on the probability that, say out of a thousand
persons born, a given number will die within one, two or more
years. But it cannot tell us which person will die at any time,
although it can tell us how many will survive after any given
term of years. Its essential process is to reduce all facts to an
average, and in doing so it substitutes an abstract mathematical
entity of uniform quality and degree in place of the actual concrete
facts. The dangers of this method are that facts of the same nature,
but differing in intensity, are classed together when their effects are
not distributive. Thus heat, which, at one degree warms, at another
withers, at another devastates, produces at each extreme effects
which are diametrically opposite, but which are nevertheless made
compensative by reduction to an average and appear as if they were



THE JUKES. n

identical to the mean from which they both differ. It also loses
points of initial divergence (essential elements in the study of
causation) which, with slight deflection at first, produce, when follow-
ed through successive removes to their cumulation, ultimate results
not classifiable under the same head. A similiar criticism may be
made as to diverse contributive causes producing similar effects.

The study of causation is a mental process which is not statis-
tics, but in which the latter are a great assistance.

In the study of the pathology of social disorders, many of them
resting primarily upon organic disease of body or mind, and there-
fore requiring a critical exploring and analysis of the causes and
consequences of constitutional habits, statistics could be used only
as an adjunct. Therefore the minute study of individual lives has
been made the leading feature, hoping it would contribute to a just
discrimination, link by link, of the essential from the accidental
elements of social movement which occur in the sequence of phe-
nomena, the distribution of social growth and decay, and the ten-
dency, direction and significance of social eccentricities.

By a modification of the original schedule prepared by the Cor-


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Online LibraryR. L. (Richard Louis) DugdaleThe Jukes; → online text (page 1 of 12)