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Letter from Francis Galton to Henry Sidgwick

Gratefully acknowledges Sidgwick having ordered the 'Health Statistics' for him, which arrived the previous day. Discusses the idea of encouraging 'honor girls' into early marriages, and to have large families. Contends that the offspring of such women would 'on the average be hereditarily gifted', and asserts his desire 'to swamp the produce of the ordinary proletariat by a better stock.' Expresses his wish that a 'dower-fund, as an equivalent to fellowships' be established. Proposes that a selection process be instituted, involving a board of women selecting successful candidates from among 'honor women not exceeding 23 years of age, who had achieved such and such college success'. Suggests that a sum of £50 be paid to such women on their marriage 'and £25 on the birth of each and every living child'. Maintains that 'the payment on the birth of each child would maintain the college tie and interest, and such other indirect and favorably effect might be anticipated.' Proposes that 'four such exhibitions ... annually and for perpetuity might be provided for, if their probable utility was vouched for by sensible men after due consideration.' Asks Sidgwick to give the matter some thought.

Galton, Sir Francis (1822-1911) Knight, biostatistican, human geneticist, and eugenicist