R. L. (Richard Louis) Dugdale.

The Jukes; online

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responding Secretary, adding the element of time and the order of
events, it was easily adapted to the objective point of the present
inquiry, the study of the sequence of phenomena as set forth in
criminal and pauper careers, to discover if there are laws in their
evolution, knowing which, it becomes easy to institute measures
adequate to their control.

Observation discloses that any given series of social phenomena
as honest childhood, criminal maturity and pauper old age, which
sometimes occur in the life of a single individual may be stretched
over several generations, each step being removed from the other
by a generation, and in some cases, by two. Consequently, the
nature of the investigation necessitated the study of families through
successive generations, to master the full sequence of phenomena
and include the entire facts embraced in the two main branches of
inquiry into which the subject necessarily divides itself : THE
HEREDITY that fixes the organic characteristics of the individual,
and THE ENVIRONMENT which affects modifications in that heredity.


It reduces the method of study, then, to one of historico-biographical
synthesis united to statistical analysis, enabling us to estimate the
cumulative effects of any condition which has operated through
successive generations : heredity giving us those elements of
character which are derived from the parent as a birthright, en-
vironment all the events and conditions occurring after birth which
have contributed to shape the individual career or deflect its primi-
tive tendency.

Heredity and environment, then, are the parallels between
which the questions of crime and public dependence and their
judicious treatment extend : the objective point is to determine
how much of each results from heredity, how much from environ-
ment. The answer to these determines the limits of possibility in
amending vicious lives, and the scrutiny will reveal some of the
methods which the present organization of society automatically
sets in motion, which, without conscious design nevertheless con-
vert harmful careers into useful ones. The discovery of such spon-
taneous social activities will furnish models to be followed in deal-
ing with the unbalanced.

Now heredity takes two leading forms that need to be contrasted ;
consanguinity and crossing, each presenting modified results. En-
vironment may judiciously be divided into two main branches : the
surroundings which throw men into criminal careers and keep them
in such ; the surroundings which rescue them from criminal careers
and keep them out. These two natural divisions, with their sub-
divisions, form the key-note to the present inquiry. A reference to
the four charts contained in this essay will show how the events in
the life of the parent are reproduced in the career of the child, and
allows a strict comparison to be made between the life of the latter
and that of his generation or his posterity, so that any characteristic
which is hereditary will thus be revealed. On the other hand, the
environment of each generation can be studied, the changes in that
environment can be noted, and the results of the same can be as-

Taking a general survey of the characteristics of the " Jukes "
and for the purpose of convenient illustration, the leading facts are


grouped in the following diagram which, however, is not offered as
a generalization.

Prostitution. c Illegitimacy. p

8 "I

Exhaustion. o Intemperance.

<-> s I*

Disease. Extinction.


In other words, fornication, either consanguineous or not, is the
backbone of their habits, flanked on one side by pauperism, on the
other by crime. The secondary features are prostitution, with its
complement of bastardy, and its resultant neglected and miseducated
childhood ; exhaustion, with its complement intemperance and its
resultant unbalanced minds ; and disease with its complement ex-

The habitat of the " Jukes" The ancestral breeding-spot of this
family nestles along the forest-covered margin of five lakes, so rocky
as to be at some parts inaccessible. It may be called one of the
crime cradles of the State of New York ; for in subsequent examina-
tions of convicts in the different State prisons, a number of them
were found to be the descendants of families equivalent to the
"Jukes," and emerging from this nest. Most of the ancestors were
squatters upon the soil, and in some instances have become owners
by tax-title or by occupancy. They lived in log or stone houses
similar to slave-hovels, all ages, sexes, relations and strangers
" bunking " indiscriminately. One form of this bunking has been
described to me. During the winter the inmates lie on the floor


strewn with straw or rushes like so many radii to the hearth, the
embers of the fire forming a centre towards which their feet focus
for warmth. This proximity, where not producing illicit relations,
must often have evolved an atmosphere of suggestiveness fatal to
habits of chastity. To this day some of the " Jukes " occupy the
self-same shanties built nearly a century ago. The essential features
of the habitat have remained stationary, and the social habits seem


to survive in conformity to the persistence of the domiciliary envi-
ronment. I have seen rude shelters made of boughs covered with
sod, or the refuse slabs of saw mills set slanting against ledges of
rock and used in the summer as abodes, the occupants bivouacing
much as gypsies. Others of the habitations have two rooms, but
so firmly has habit established modes of living, that, nevertheless,
they often use but one congregate dormitory. Sometimes I found
an overcrowding so close it suggested that these dwellings were the
country equivalents of city tenement houses. Domesticity is im-
possible. The older girls, finding no privacy within a home over-
run with younger brothers and sisters, purchase privacy at the risk
of prudence, and the night rambles through woods and tangles end,
too often, in illegitimate offspring. During the last thirty years,
however, the establishment of factories has brought about the build-
ing of houses better suited to secure domesticity, and with this
change alone, an accompanying change in personal habits is being
introduced, which would otherwise be impossible.

The origin of the Stock of the " Jukes," Between the years 1720
and 1740 was born a man who shall herein be called Max. He was
a descendant of the early Dutch settlers, and lived much as the back-
woodsmen upon our frontiers now do. He is described as " a hun-
ter and fisher, a hard drinker, jolly and companionable, averse to
steady toil," working hard by spurts and idling by turns, becoming
blind in his old age, and entailing his blindness upon his children
and grandchildren. He had a numerous progeny, some of them
almost certainly illegitimate. Two of his sons married two out of
six sisters (called " Jukes " in these pages) who were born between
the year 1740 and 1770, but whose parentage has not been absolute-
ly ascertained. The probability is they were not full sisters, that
some, if not all of them, were illegitimate. The family name, in two
cases, is obscure, which accords with the supposition that at least
two of the women were half-sisters to the other four, the legitimate
daughters bearing the family name, the illegitimate keeping either
the mother's name or adopting that of the reputed father. Five of
these women in the first generation were married ; the sixth one it
has been impossible to trace, for she moved out of the county. Of


the five that are known, three have had illegitimate children before
marriage. One who is called in these pages Ada Juke, but who is
better known to the public as " Margaret, the mother of criminals,"
had one bastard son, who is the progenitor of the distinctively crimi-
nal line. Another sister had two illegitimate sons, who appear to
have had no children. A third sister had four, three boys and one
girl, the three oldest children being mulattoes, and the youngest
a boy white. The fourth sister is reputed chaste, while no infor-
mation could be gathered respecting the fifth in this respect, but
she was the mother of one of the distinctively pauperized lines and
married one of the sons of Max. The progeny of these five has
been traced with more or less exactness through five generations,
thus making the total heredity which has been enrolled stretch over
seven generations, if we count Max as the first. The number of
descendants registered includes 540 individuals who are related by
blood to the Jukes, and 169 by marriage or cohabitation; in all,
709 persons of all ages, alive and dead. The aggregate of this line-
age reaches probably 1,200 persons, but the dispersions that have
occurred at different times have prevented the following up and
enumeration of many of the lateral branches.

Discrimination of Stocks. To distinguish those who are directly
descended from these five sisters, they will be spoken of as belong-
ing to the " Juke blood," because it is the line of their blood which
has been traced, it being the most important as a study of heredity,
the male lineage being considered subordinate. As the heredity of
those who enter the family by marriage is in most instances uncertain,
these persons will be spoken of generically as " the blood of X," or
" the X blood." In order to trace the relationships more easily,
the five sisters will be called, respectively, " Ada," " Bell," " Clara,"
" Delia," " Effie," the names beginning with the first five letters of
the alphabet, which letter, in the text and appended charts, will be
used instead of the full name. Individuals outside the line will be
marked by an X.

How to read the Charts. -The children resulting from any given
marriage will contain all the letters which represent their ancestral
derivation, each child being numbered according to the order of its
birth as nearly as could be learned. Thus turning to chart I., fac


ing page 15, in the first line in the column headed ''generation
three, you will find "(i) b. m. A. 70 X (6) 1. f. B.," which would
mean that the first child of Ada, a bastard male, aged seventy at
death, married the sixth legitimate female child of Bell, age un-
known. Passing to the next generation we should get '' (i) 1. m. A.
B. X f- X.," the first child, a legitimate male of A. and B., married
a female whose antecedents are unknown. Passing down to the
next generation we should get "(2) 1. f. A. B. X. = (i) b. m. E. X.
X.," which means the second child, a legitimate female, of A. B.
and X., cohabits with the first child, an illegitimate male, of E. X.
and X. Other abbreviations will be found explained on the charts.

Consanguinity and Crossing. In surveying the whole family, as it
is the mapped out in the Charts, I find groups which may be consider-
ed distinctively industrious, distinctively criminal, distinctively pau-
per, and specifically diseased. These features run along lines of
descent so that you can follow them from generation to generation,
the breaks in the line at certain points indicating with great precis-
ion the modifying effects of disease, training, or fortuitous circum-
stance which have intervened and changed the current of the career.

A glance at table II., which epitomizes in a very general way
the details contained in the larger charts, shows these distinctions
with measurable accuracy, and helps us to some conclusions :

Tentative Inductions. i. Boys preponderate in the illegitimate

2. Girls preponderate in the intermarried branches.

3. Lines of intermarriage between " Jukes " show a minimum
of crime.

4. Pauperism preponderates in the consanguineous lines.

5. In the main, crime begins in progeny where "Juke" crosses
X blood.

6. The illegitimate lines have chiefly married into X.

7. Crime preponderates in the illegitimate lines.

8. The apparent anomaly presents itself, that the illegitimate
criminal lines show collateral branches which are honest and indus-
trious. When we come to the study of crime and honesty, and their
relation to character and environment, we shall find an explanation
of this apparent inconsistency.










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Harlotry. The distinctive tendency of the Juke family is dis
played in the statistical exhibit herein presented ; for the most nota-
ble figures are those that relate to harlotry and bastardy.

The term harlotry in these pages will be used generically, includ-
ing all degrees of impudicity. Inasmuch as the English language
possesses no word to distinguish women who professionally sell
themselves from those who have made lapses through imprudence or
even passion when they have recovered themselves and led subse-
quently reputable lives, I shall use the word harlot to mean the
lesser degree, while prostitute will be applied to the professional

In the following table all girls of 14 are included among the
marriageable women, because there are at least two mothers under
15 years of age, one being only twelve.

Harlotry in the " Jukt " blood.

Gen. a.

Gen. 3.

Gen. 4.

Gen. 5.

Gen. 6.


Number of marriageable women . .











60. 2 \





The variation of percentages in the different generations is be-
cause the sources of information have not been exhausted. In the
second generation we have a very small basis for calculating per-
centages, while in the sixth generation the 12 girls are so young that
the percentage is not fully developed. A complete account would,
no doubt, make them approximate more nearly, increasing the per-
centage of harlotry for the total. How enormous it is, amounting
to a distinctive social feature, is demonstrated on comparison with
the average prostitution in cities, which has been estimated by good
authorities as 1.66 per cent, or one woman in every sixty. These
figures are probably too low for harlotry in the community. Sup-
posing them to be 1.80 per cent, we find harlotry over twenty-nine


times more frequent with the Juke women than in the average of the

Making a comparison between the women of the " Juke " and
the X blood, we find :

" Jukes " marriageable women, 162 ; harlots, 84 . percentage, 52. 40.
X blood marriageable women, 67 ; harlots, 28 : percentage, 41. 76.

Having the figures that establish the sexual habits of the female
" Jukes," and their accompanying tendency, we take up the question
in its details. In the following study of licentiousness, the lives of
the women have, by preference, been chosen, because the maternity
is more easily established by testimony, is much more significant of
the social condition of the whole class, and more profoundly affects
the next generation.

Below is given a table in which the marriageable female posterity
of Clara, who was chaste, is compared to the marriageable female
posterity of Ada, a harlot, divided respectively as to the legitimate
and illegitimate branches. In this table the children of Clara are


Showing percentages of harlotry.

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Number of marriageable women







Harlots after marriage







Percentage of harlotry to total women.






divided into two classes the first column being those who married
into X ; the second, the total number of her children, including
those who intermarried with the children of Ada and Bell. The
percentages show a progressive increase as you pass from left to right,


the first column showing a lower percentage than that of the aver
age of the "Jukes," the others increasing as you proceed to con-
sanguineous marriages of Clara's stock with the children of Ada
and Bell, to the legitimate children of Ada, to the illegitimate chil-
dren of Ada. From this point of view it would seem that chastity
and profligacy are hereditary characteristics, possible of entailment.

This table illustrates how pure statistics may lead into the error
of mistaking a coincidence for a correlation, for the figures appear
to demonstrate the force of heredity, the chaste mother bearing a
progeny more chaste than the unchaste mother, and the legitimate
branch of the unchaste mother being more chaste than the illegiti-
mate branch. To study out the causation we trace several of the
most striking lines of harlotry, get elements which are not to be
found in the table, because that gives only an average that obliterates
extremes which teach lessons that the mean conceals. We shall
then see how far to modify first impressions on closer analysis.

Case i. Taking up the legitimate branch of Ada, which inter-
married into Bell and Clara (chart II.), we follow the heredity of
legitimacy in lines 6, 8 and 10, generation 5. They are three
sisters, children of a legitimate father, B. C., and a chaste and legiti-
mate mother, A. C., whose mother C. (gen. 3, following the mother's
side) was a chaste and legitimate daughter of Clara, who was chaste.
Going back to the father (gen. 4), we find his mother (gen. 3) was a
chaste, legitimate daughter of Clara. Both parents, therefore, of
generation four, were of chaste descent on the mother's side. Thus,
the original characteristic of chastity seems to have descended from
Clara through two branches, A. and B., and cumulated in the three
sisters under consideration. Further ; we find, in line 7, the sister
of the above three to be a prostitute, and in going back upon the
heredity, we find in gen. 4 that the father's father was the licentious,
though legitimate, son of Ada, a harlot, and on the mother's side
(gen. 4), the father was the legitimate son of Bell, a prostitute. Ac-
cording to the law of heredity, it is a logical deduction to make,
that line 7 has reverted to the ancestral types on the unchaste
side of both parents. Respecting this case, very little reliable in-
formation has been gathered about the environment, but it must be
noted that the mother in generation four was one of seven sisters,


one of whom was idiotic, and no doubt licentious, and five others,
harlots or prostitutes, one of them keeping a brothel ; while, on
the father's (see chart III., gen. 4, line 37), there was one sister who
also kept a brothel. Whether this pair removed from the vicinity
of their relations has not been learned, and what were the other
particulars of their career are unknown. This case looks more
like one of pure heredity than any that has been traced.

Case 2. Taking line 13, and following the heredity, we have
(gen. 6) two illegitimate children of a white woman. One of them
was a mulatto girl, who died at one year old of syphilis, whose
mother (gen. 5) was a bastard prostitute, afflicted with the same
disease, whose mother (gen. 4) was a prostitute afflicted likewise in
the constitutional form, inherited from her licentious father, whose
mother, Ada, was a harlot.

Now for the environment. The infant girl who died was con-
ceived by the roadside, and born in the poor-house. Its mothe*
(gen. 5) was a vagrant child, her mother having no home for her. So
neglected was she, that at seven years she was committed to the
county jail for a misdemeanor. She was idle, disgustingly dirty,
and for that reason could get no place as a servant, and as she
must live, fell into the practice of prostitution. Her half-sister also
had an illegitimate child, while other relations and acquaintances
gave the example of profligacy. Her mother (gen. 4) was married
twice then cohabited with the man who became this girl's father, and
when he went to the war in 1863 and deserted her, she folio wed the
example of her other four prostitute sisters, one of whom kept a
brothel. Going back to the father (gen. 3) we find him a soldier in
the war of 1812, very licentious, whose two harlot sisters married
mulattoes. As this was at a time when slavery existed in this
State, the social condition under which this consorting took place
is significant.

We have here an environment in three generations which corre-
sponds to the heredity ; this environment forming an example to the
younger generation which must have been sufficient, without he-
redity, to stimulate licentious practices.

Case 3. Turning to the illegitimate branch of Ada (chart I.),
trace the heredity of legitimacy in lines 40 and 41 (gen. 6), two


girls who are legitimate, whose mothers (gen. 5) were sisters, chaste
and legitimate, whose father and mother (gen. 4) were legitimate
and chaste, whose mother (gen. 3, following the father's side) was
legitimate and chaste, whose mother was Ada, a harlot. Follow-
ing the mother's side (gen. 4), her mother was a legitimate child of
Delia, a harlot. Here the heredity seems not entailed.

Now for the environment. The three sisters of generation 5
are industrious women, who work at tailoring, and are described by
their employer as always reliable, and doing their work by the time
promised. The oldest brother, who is a mason, has amassed some
$2,000 at his trade, which he has invested in a house and lot. He
is steady and industrious. Going back to generation 4, we find the
father a mason, tolerably industrious, who separated himself from
his brothers and sisters, the sum total of whose environment may
be thus expressed : Three sisters and one sister-in-law, prostitutes,
and the other sister-in-law a brothel keeper ; of the four men, one
brother kept a brothel, the other was a quarrelsome drunkard, one
brother-in-law was an habitual thief, who trained his sons to crime,
another served two years in State prison for forgery. This pair
thus measurably protected themselves and their progeny from the
environment of eight contaminating persons, all immediate relatives,
whose lives were, with few exceptions, quite profligate. Going
back to generation 3, we have no account of the environment, save
that there was no prostitution, while at the head of the line, we
find Ada on one branch and Bell on the other.

In this case we again note that, in the fourth and fifth genera-
tions, while the heredity is mainly of the type of chasity, the en 1
vironment has also been favorable to the same habits, but in gen-
eration 3 the characteristics of harlotry in Ada and Bell are not
reproduced as we might expect if heredity were the controlling
element in determining the career. If the history of the environ-
ment of that generation could only be obtained, it would, perhaps,
explain the interruption in the entailment.

Case 4. Taking line 35, chart I., we have (gen. 7) an illegitimate
child, whose mother (gen. 6) was a prostitute, whose mother (gen.
5) was a bastard prostitute, whose mother (gen. 4) was a harlot,
whose father (gen. 3) was a bastard son of Ada, a harlot, while his


wife (gen. 3) was the legitimate daughter of Bell, a prostitute.
Going back and following up from the father in generation 4, we
find his father the illegitimate son of Bell.

Parallel to this we lay the story of the environment. The
mother of this child in the seventh generation is the daughter of a
prostitute, who kept a brothel when that daughter was only ten
years old. It is stated by one of the poor-masters that, upon one
occasion, the daughter applied to him for out-door relief to main-
tain the above child. She made a charge of bastardy against a
certain man, whom the poor-master was called upon, in virtue of his

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Online LibraryR. L. (Richard Louis) DugdaleThe Jukes; → online text (page 2 of 12)