A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics

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Overview

Few scientists have made lasting contributions to as many fields as Francis Galton. He was an important African explorer, travel writer, and geographer. He was the meteorologist who discovered the anticyclone, a pioneer in using fingerprints to identify individuals, the inventor of regression and correlation analysis in statistics, and the founder of the eugenics movement. Now, Nicholas Gillham paints an engaging portrait of this Victorian polymath.
The book traces Galton's ancestry (he was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin and the cousin of Charles Darwin), upbringing, training as a medical apprentice, and experience as a Cambridge undergraduate. It recounts in colorful detail Galton's adventures as leader of his own expedition in Namibia. Darwin was always a strong influence on his cousin and a turning point in Galton's life was the publication of the Origin of Species. Thereafter, Galton devoted most of his life to human heredity, using then novel methods such as pedigree analysis and twin studies to argue that talent and character were inherited and that humans could be selectively bred to enhance these qualities. To this end, he founded the eugenics movement which rapidly gained momentum early in the last century. After Galton's death, however, eugenics took a more sinister path, as in the United States, where by 1913 sixteen states had involuntary sterilization laws, and in Germany, where the goal of racial purity was pushed to its horrific limit in the "final solution." Galton himself, Gillham writes, would have been appalled by the extremes to which eugenics was carried.
Here then is a vibrant biography of a remarkable scientist as well as a superb portrait of science in the Victorian era.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This may well prove to be the definitive biography of the British explorer, a cousin and contemporary of Charles Darwin. Gillham, emeritus professor of biology at Duke University, offers an elegant and complete portrait comparable to Janet Browne's acclaimed life of Darwin."—Publishers Weekly

"A detailed intellectual portrait of a complex and creative scientist who nevertheless embodied the morals and principles of an eminent Victorian English gentleman."—Kirkus Reviews

"This is a superb biography, a rich tapestry that weaves the threads of Galton's energetic and productive life into the background of his culture and class, relatives and friends, travels and adventures. A hundred years ago came the rediscovery of Mendel and the beginning of modern genetics. It is altogether fitting that in this age of genomics we should rediscover Galton."—Daniel L. Hartl, Higgins Professor and Chairman, Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

"For better or worse, Francis Galton launched an astonishing theory of heredity into the public arena that has created debate ever since. Nicholas Gillham's fascinating study is based on extensive archival research and puts welcome flesh onto the bones of this highly unusual man who was a cousin of Charles Darwin's and a friend (or enemy) to many other eminent Victorians. Anyone interested in the way genes and the idea of heredity have seemingly taken over our lives will be delighted by this biography of one of the most significant founders of the field of genetics." —Janet Browne, Reader in the History of Biology at University College London, and author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging

"An elegant biography of a major British scientist and polymath. This book should become the standard account of Galton's life, and it also reveals much about the birth of psychology, biometry, genetics, and eugenics. Scientists, historians, and serious general readers will profit from reading it."—Kenneth M. Ludmerer, Professor of Medicine and History, Washington University, and author of Genetics and American Society, Learning to Heal, and Time to Heal

American Scientist
Francis Galton was father to the modern doctrine of eugenics, but he was also, as Nicholas Gillham emphasizes in this highly readable biography, an eminent Victorian scientist of remarkably diverse interests and accomplishments...His book is a compelling narrative of Galton's life
Books and Culture
Gillham's biography attempts to rehabilitate Galton's image, tarnished like all eugenicist's in the wake of the Holocaust.
David J. Galton
Life of Sir Francis Galton covers the whole range of Galton's activities, including African exploration, meteorology, pedigree analysis, mechanisms of inheritance, anthropometrics, fingerprints, and psychology. This is indeed a daunting list of topics to deal with, since Galton made such imaginative and original contributions to all these fields. It requires something of a polymath to understand, let alone write about, all the complex issues, and Professor Gillham rises to the challenge superbly. He handles these topics in an effective and scholarly manner and, what is even more difficult, writes about them in a lively and highly readable prose style.
Journal of American Medical Association
Publishers Weekly
This may well prove to be the definitive biography of the British explorer, a cousin and contemporary of Charles Darwin. Gillham, emeritus professor of biology at Duke University, offers an elegant and complete portrait comparable to Janet Browne's acclaimed life of Darwin. Galton is best known as the founder of eugenics, but his interests and subsequent contributions as Victorian traveler and scientist were myriad. Like Darwin, he set out to become a doctor but his curiosity led him further afield in Galton's case, to Africa. He won fame for his expedition in Nambia and his subsequent book of observations, and became an accomplished geographer and meteorologist credited with discovering the anticyclone. Greatly influenced in later life by the Origin of Species, Galton committed himself to the study of human heredity, leading, for example, to his use of fingerprinting, an innovation adopted by Scotland Yard, and the development of important statistical tools. His work unraveling the heritability of what he called "talent and character" predated the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel's principals and the use of IQ tests. Galton relied on pedigree analysis, twin studies and biometrics to measure the favorable physical characteristics that he theorized evidenced mental superiority. Gillham sheds light on the confluence of Victorian social theory and science brought on by the Darwinian revolution. From this confluence emerged the utopian eugenics movement, which by 1913 had spawned involuntary sterilization laws in 16 of the United States and set the stage for Nazi Germany's atrocities in the name of racial purity. Photos. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Most know that Sir Francis Galton fathered the eugenics movement (he even coined the word), but, as Gillham (Biology Emeritus/Duke Univ.) makes clear in this encyclopedic biography, that was only after sterling accomplishments in sundry other fields. To name a few: African explorer in search of the source of the Nile in the days of Stanley and Livingstone; designer of weather maps and discoverer of the anticyclone; prime mover in establishing the uniqueness of fingerprints and hence their important forensic use; developer of the hereditary research tools of pedigree analyses and twin studies; pioneer in psychological studies of mental imagery; and innovator in statistical science, defining the coefficient of correlation and regression to the mean. Galton was the youngest of nine children born to a rich Quaker merchant who married Erasmus Darwin's daughter Violetta. (Galton and Charles Darwin were cousins.) It was Charles who persuaded Galton to interrupt medical training to study math at Cambridge. It was Dad's fortune that allowed Francis to devote his life to one or another intellectual pursuits. And it was Galton's passion for measurement-collecting quantitative data for analysis-that Gillham underscores as the driving force behind Galton's forays into science. A turning point was publication of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. For the rest of Galton's long life (1822-1911), he championed heredity as the source of talent and character, in articles, speeches, and books and in the academic studies and journals he funded. Interestingly, Galton and his wife Louisa were childless. One would have liked Gillham to examine how this affected Galton-or how the presence ofoffspring might have altered his thinking. In general, one would have liked to know more about Galton the man apart from his scientific pursuits and controversies. Read this then as a detailed intellectual portrait of a complex and creative scientist who nevertheless embodied the morals and principles-including the inferior position of women-of an eminent Victorian English gentleman.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195143652
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Gillham is James B. Duke Professor of Biology Emeritus at Duke University.

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Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


An Enviable Pedigree


Few men have had more noteworthy ancestry in many lines than Francis Galton.
Karl Pearson


Francis Galton invented pedigree analysis to measure the heritability of human "talent and character." This technique caught the imagination of eugenicists in the early twentieth century and is a fundamental tool of modern human genetics. One reason Galton set such store by this method was his own sterling pedigree (Table 1-1). His ancestors, the scientific and medically inclined Darwins, and the Galtons, a family of wealthy Quaker merchants, both hailed from the environs of Birmingham. Galton's cousin Charles Darwin inspired his investigations in human heredity while his father, Samuel Tertius Galton, endowed him with a substantial inheritance. This permitted him to roam without financial constraint through his various scientific pursuits. His father may also have sparked his lifelong interest in numbers and quantification. Francis Galton indeed had an enviable pedigree, so to understand the man one must know something of his family and especially his maternal grandfather Dr. Erasmus Darwin, the common familial link between Galton and Charles Darwin (Fig. 1-1).

    Erasmus Darwin was a massive figure with a prominent stomach and a jowly face surmounted by a majestic nose. His cheeks, pitted with old craters and scars, bore mute testimony to a severe childhood case of smallpox. Atop his head was a wig tied up behind in a little bob-tail. Darwin stammeredwhen he spoke, but his physical shortcomings were soon forgotten as "no patient consulted Dr. Darwin who, so far as intelligence was concerned, was not inspired with confidence in beholding him; his observation was most keen; he constantly detected disease, from his sagacious observation of symptoms apparently so slight as to be unobserved by other doctors." Darwin's medical reputation became so great that King George III urged him to come to London to attend to his medical needs, but Darwin declined, preferring his life in Derby. Although Darwin often treated poor patients for nothing, his fees for a wealthy man like Samuel Galton were substantial. To see his patients Darwin probably bumped and jounced almost 10,000 miles a year around the countryside in Derbyshire and neighboring counties in all sorts of weather and on roads of varying quality and condition. Sooner or later he was bound to have an accident and in 1768, while riding in a two-wheeled carriage, the axletree broke, pitching him onto the road and breaking the patella of his right knee. Afterwards, Darwin always limped slightly, and it is not surprising that proper carriage design was among his many interests.

    Darwin's good friend Josiah Wedgwood, Charles Darwin's grandfather (Table 1-1), was also interested in carriages, specifically their avoidance, as the china and crockery he manufactured was often smashed during overland transport on pitted and rutted roads. To minimize breakage Wedgwood was anxious to move his wares via canal to Liverpool or Hull where they could be conveniently exported. Hence Wedgwood, with Darwin's enthusiatic support, promoted extension of the Burslem-Trent canal to connect with the Mersey to make a "Grand Trunk Canal" from which other canals might later branch off. Once parliamentary approval was secured in 1766, James Brindley, who designed the Burslem-Trent canal, extended it to the Mersey.

    Darwin and Wedgwood belonged to the Lunar Society of Birmingham, which met monthly for discussion on the Monday afternoon nearest the full moon. Its members were men of varied backgrounds united by their interest in the sciences pure and applied. The Lunar Society was born out of a more informal group, the Lunar Circle, initiated by Darwin and Matthew Boulton. Boulton, the son of a buckle maker, became the leading manufacturer in England. They were joined by Wedgwood and by Dr. William Small, a former professor of Natural Philosophy at the College of William and Mary who was a much-appreciated teacher of Thomas Jefferson. Gradually this group of like-minded enthusiasts grew to 14 and included notables like James Keir, a pioneer in the chemical industry, Joseph Priestley, the famous minister and chemist, and James Watt, one of the greatest British engineers and the inventor of the modern steam engine.

    Erasmus Darwin was not only a gifted physician, but a talented inventor. One of his best known inventions was his speaking machine, which used his phonetic theory to divide the sounds of speech into four classes (vowels, sibilants, a mix of the two, and consonants). Its mouth was wooden with leather lips. An inch-long silk ribbon a quarter inch wide provided vocalization when a bellows passed an air current over it. "This head pronounced the p, b, m, and the vowel a, with so great nicety as to deceive all who heard it unseen, when it pronounced the words mama, papa, map, and pam; and had a most plaintive tone, when the lips were gradually closed." Like his grandfather, Galton would also prove adept at model making. But it is for his major contributions to the natural sciences, particularly biology, that Erasmus Darwin is best remembered. In response to the great interest in plants generated by the appearance of the Genera Plantarum by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who proposed the system of classification for living things we use today, Darwin published a four-part English translation between 1782 and 1785. In 1789 he published The Loves of Plants, part II of his encyclopedic poem The Botanic Garden, with part I, The Economy of Vegetation, appearing in 1791. The Loves of Plants, received with delight by the reading public, discussed the Linnaean classification of plants while at the same time humanizing them and their sex lives. The Economy of Vegetation, a far stronger and less frivolous poem, was divided into four cantos whose subjects were Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. Its subjects ranged widely from Watt's steam engines to Wedgwood's Portland Vase.

    Darwin's next great work was Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life, which he labored at for over 20 years. By the third edition (1801) the original two volumes had fissioned into four. Volumes I and II of this edition dealt generally with medical or medically related topics (sleep, drunkenness, stomach, liver, etc.) while the other two volumes attempted Linnaean classification of the known diseases. Even though this classification system did not ultimately work very well, Zoonomia compiled an enormous amount of medical knowledge and personal experience. It was highly acclaimed and was translated into German, French, and Italian and there were at least five American editions. In chapter 39, "Of generation," Darwin proposed the rudiments of evolutionary theory, challenging the notion that species were unchanging. This was embedded not only in Christian teachings, according to which species were created by God and immutable, but in the Linnaean system of classification. Darwin imagined that over the millenia since the earth's creation warm-blooded animals somehow arose from "one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations; and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end?" Later, in his poem The Temple of Nature, published after his death in 1802, Darwin clarified what he meant by one living filament writing that "all vegetables and animals now existing were originally derived from the smallest microscopic ones, formed by spontaneous vitality" in primeval oceans.

    Darwin's reputation suffered when George Canning, under-secretary for Foreign Affairs in Pitt's government, wrote The Loves of the Triangles (1798). This was a parody in Darwin's style of The Loves of Plants. He aimed to discredit the political and religious radicalism not only of Darwin, but of William Godwin, author of Political Justice. The French Revolution was underway, inspired by the radical democratic members of the Jacobin Society. It was provoking strong anti-Jacobin sentiment in Great Britain, particularly within a government fearful of a similar uprising. Canning's poem, published in three sequential issues of The Anti-Jacobin under the pseudonym Higgins, implied that Godwin was the true author. It succeeded in (1) ridiculing Darwin's idea that human beings might have evolved from lower organisms, (2) that electricity might have important uses, and (3) that the Earth is much older than stated in the Bible. Galton commented years later that "Cannings parody The Loves of the Triangles quite killed poor Dr. Darwin's reputation."

    Charles Darwin, who knew his grandfather well and initially "admired greatly the Zoonomia," was disappointed on rereading it ten or 15 years later "the proportion of speculation being so large as to the facts given." Darwin changed course again late in life when he published his 127-page biography as a "preliminary notice" to Erasmus Darwin by Ernst Krause whose own essay was only 86 pages long. Darwin's daughter Henrietta crossed out most references favorable to Erasmus Darwin with a thick blue pencil since, as a good Christian, she "did not wish to damage the Darwin family image by allowing her father to praise him." Erasmus Darwin's prowess as a poet was assaulted by G. L. Craik in his popular History of English Literature in the mid-nineteenth century. L. V. Lucas in A Swan and Her Friends (1907) burlesqued Darwin by quoting Canning's poem The Loves of the Triangles and not one line of Darwin's. The final indignity was in the The Stuffed Owl (1930), an anthology of supposedly bad verse in which Darwin took a bow, but he was not lonely being joined by illustrious poets like Dryden, Byron, Wordsworth, and Tennyson. Eventually others joined Charles Darwin in recognizing his grandfather as a man of great breadth and talent.

    Erasmus Darwin was grandfather to Charles Darwin and Francis Galton by successive marriages (Table 1-1). He first wedded Mary (Polly) Howard following which they moved to a fine old house in Lichfield. Soon the family expanded to include four boys and a girl, two of whom expired within a year. While pursuing medical studies at Edinburgh, Charles, the eldest son and his father's favorite, died in 1778 at age 20 because he cut his finger dissecting the brain of a child who had died of "hydrocephalus internus." Mary Darwin's other two surviving children were Erasmus Jr. and Robert Waring. Following completion of his medical studies in 1786 Robert Darwin set up practice in Shrewsbury becoming an extremely successful provincial doctor. He married Susannah Wedgwood, the daughter of his father's old friend Josiah Wedgwood, and they had two sons and four daughters, their second son being Charles Darwin. Robert Darwin dominated his children as Erasmus had dominated his and, like his father, continued to increase in girth. He stopped weighing himself when he reached 24 stone (336 lbs) and had his coachman (also heavy) test the floor-boards of a new patient's house before he entered.

    Mary Darwin died at 30, possibly from liver disease exacerbated by alcohol, leaving her husband, 38, with three young sons to rear. Within a year of her death he had struck up an acquaintanceship with a Miss Parker. It flowered so rapidly that before long she had born him two natural daughters who were treated as if they were his own legitimate children. However, when they grew old enough convention dictated that they would seek employment, perhaps as governesses, while legitimate daughters of the gentry prepared themselves for marriage to gentlemen of appropriate means and class. Within a few years Miss Parker and Darwin parted ways. She later married and, as far as anyone seems to know, lived happily ever after in a fine house in Birmingham.

    In 1777 Darwin was smitten with a raven-haired beauty of 30, Mrs. Elizabeth Collier Sacheveral-Pole (Table 1-1), while paying a visit to the Poles' home at Radburn Hall near Derby to treat their three-year-old daughter Milly. The doctor, as he often did, prescribed a generous dose of opium and before long Milly recovered. Unfortunately Mrs. Pole was married to a man 30 years her senior, Colonel Edward Sacheveral-Pole. Given this impasse Darwin chose to court Mrs. Pole in verse. His strategy paid off since after the Colonel expired in 1780 he bid for Mrs. Pole's hand and succeeded against richer, younger, and better-looking suitors. The marriage yielded a readymade family of three young Pole children and the Colonel's older natural son together with Erasmus Darwin's two natural daughters plus his sons Erasmus and Robert. The newly-weds, undaunted by their large flock, were prolific and added five additional sons and two daughters although one died as a baby and four in their thirties or forties. The remaining two children were Violetta, Francis Galton's mother, and Francis Sacheverall Darwin, the godfather of Francis Galton and a doctor like his father.

    The Galtons, Quakers who began as small businessmen, became ever more successful with each new generation. The first Samuel Galton, the great grandfather of Francis Galton (Table 1-1), married Mary Farmer in 1746. The next year he became an assistant to his brother-in-law, James, and by 1753 had full partnership in the Farmer business. James possessed a large stake in the operation of his cousin, Benjamin Farmer, a merchant in Lisbon, but an earthquake struck in 1755 destroying the Farmers' Lisbon business and causing James Farmer to declare bankruptcy. Somehow, the circumstances are not entirely clear, Samuel Galton not only survived this crisis, but profited from it. The partnership between James Farmer and Samuel Galton was briefly dissolved and then reconstituted in 1757. In the process the estates of Duddeston and Saltley were assigned to Galton. By 1766 Samuel Galton's share of the business was worth £22,821. His wealth continued to grow as he accumulated more property after the deaths of his mother and brother John.

    His granddaughter, Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, loved to visit her grandfather at his fine country home, Duddeston House, with its great portico supported by four imposing Doric columns. He would call her at 6:00 A.M. to accompany him on his morning walk. They proceeded first to the little garden he had given her, then to the greenhouses, and then to a large lake with a stream running through it where seagulls swooped and wheeled while Muscovy ducks and Canada and Peruvian geese clamored and quacked near the lake's edge or swam in little convoys on its surface. Next they dropped by his nearby mill where he inquired after the health and well-being of his workers and then they breakfasted. Samuel Sr. gave each grandchild a guinea the day the child was born and on each successive birthday. He frequently added other gifts of a half-a-crown, or sometimes more. Being a good businessman, Samuel gave Mary Anne


a little account book in which he desired I should set down accurately everything I received and expended. This was contrary to my natural taste and habits; it was also very different from my dear mother's magnificent manner of spending and acting in all that related to money: but one day my grandfather called me to him and said: "My child, thou didst not like when I advised thee, the other day to save thy sixpence, instead of spending it in barberry drops and burnt almonds.... We cannot be self-denying wisely till we know the real value of what we give up; that is why I wish thee to keep exact accounts."


    Samuel Galton died at age 80 in 1799. His obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1777 reported that he was a highly respected and hard-working citizen and generous with the local charities. He could well afford to be as his estate now was worth £139,000, in today's currency perhaps between £57,000,000. Since Samuel Sr.'s six other children expired prior to his own death, the entire estate went to Samuel Jr. who had joined the firm of Galton and Farmer at the age of 17. At 21 his father transferred £10,000 to his account and made him manager of his Gun Foundry, an odd line of business in view of the pacifist teachings of the Quakers. Samuel Jr. was greatly interested in the sciences and joined the Lunar Society in 1781. He greatly admired Joseph Priestley, one of the giants of the Lunar Society, who came from a family of Calvinist dissenters and began his career as a minister. Priestley's Lunar Society friends, including Samuel Jr., helped to cover the expenses of his scientific experiments with such tact that he was unaware of their support. Priestley's religious publications gained him fame in the Unitarian movement, but caused him much grief later on as his heretical religious views, prominence as an advocate for abolition of the slave trade, and his support for the American Revolution marked him as a radical. During the Church and King riots of 1791 his house near Birmingham, like those of other dissenters, was destroyed along with his apparatus and papers.

    During these troubles, Samuel Jr. was one of Priestley's strongest supporters, sending him financial contributions while others provided chemicals and equipment. Priestley in turn helped Galton gain admission to the Royal Society for his one major scientific contribution, the color top. Newton had supposed that if his seven prismatic colors (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) occupied pie-shaped sections of a circle when the circle revolved swiftly around its center it would appear white. Galton deduced that blue, yellow, and red are the only true colors and mixed in the proper proportions should also produce white. He demonstrated this with spinning, circular cards. Meanwhile the Society of Friends finally took notice of Samuel Jr.'s lucrative gun trade and in 1795 he was formally disowned "for fabricating and selling instruments of war." This greatly irritated Galton so he penned a rebuttal arguing that to be consistent, taxes should not be paid by any Friend to a Government that prepared for war, or riots. He observed that his grandfather, father, and uncle had been in the gun-making business for 70 years without the Friends raising any complaint. He did not offer to give up this lucrative trade and he ignored his disownment, continuing to attend Quaker meetings until his death in 1832. Since his regular donations were accepted, his "excommunication" seems at best to have been a face-saving gesture by the Friends. In 1804, three years after his father's death, Samuel Jr. wound up the gun business. The Galton-Farmer factory on Steelhouse Lane in Birmingham was converted into a bank in which his sons Samuel Tertius and Hubert Galton plus a colleague, Paul Moon James, were partners. Meanwhile the Galtons left the Society of Friends, first embracing Unitarianism, and later the Anglican or Roman Catholic faiths. Francis Galton's father Tertius was an Anglican. This had an important consequence for his son since he could apply for admission to Cambridge or Oxford when the time came, an option not open to dissenters.

    Samuel Galton Jr.'s wife Lucy (Table 1-1) was the great granddaughter of the Apologist for the Quakers, Robert Barclay. They were a prolific couple whose union yielded ten children. In addition to Tertius, the father of Francis Galton, his aunt Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck deserves mention. She was an accomplished author, but considered the family black sheep by both the Darwins and the Galtons who felt she maligned them in her autobiography. On reading her account Francis Galton left this marginal note: "As though this was the only matter! Demon of mischief-making whose name was rarely mentioned by any of the family, and then only with horror!—winning confidences and then misrepresenting friends to each other! She broke off eleven marriages." Though treated rather like Cleopatra's asp by family and historian alike, she left the only eyewitness account of a Lunar Society meeting and enduring portraits of the two eminent grandfathers of Francis Galton. Perhaps Mary Anne was vilified too much.

    Pearson remarked that Samuel Tertius Galton "was not a man of the kind of note which finds its way into biographical dictionaries, but he did—what many of us everyday mortals fail to do—the usual work of the everyday world and he did it well." During the 1825 financial panic a bank run occurred throughout Great Britain and the Galton bank had to borrow funds to cover withdrawals from Barclay's Bank in London. The run lasted about a week, but the Galtons' friends stood by them. One even tossed a bag containing 1,000 sovereigns on the counter and asked the Galton Bank to deposit them while surrounded by panicked depositors clamoring to withdraw their funds. Tertius had actually predicted the crisis in his only known publication (1813), which attempted graphical correlations between English bank notes in circulation, the foreign exchange rate, and prices of gold, silver, and wheat. After the crisis he gradually closed the bank, completing the process in 1831, and retired to Leamington.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from A LIFE OF SIR FRANCIS GALTON by Nicholas Wright Gillham. Copyright © 2001 by Oxford University Press, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Prologue Francis Galton in Perspective 1
I ANTECEDENTS AND BEGINNINGS
1 An Enviable Pedigree 13
2 Metamorphosis From Birth to Medical School 23
3 A Poll Degree from Cambridge 37
4 Drifting 47
II GEOGRAPHY AND EXPLORATION
5 South Africa 61
6 Making Peace with Jonker Afrikaner 67
7 Expedition to Ovampoland 79
8 Fame and Marriage 93
9 Riding High with the Royal Geographical Society I
The Great Lakes of Africa 109
10 Riding High with the Royal Geographical Society II
Stanley Faces Off with the Geographers 123
11 Weather Maps and the Anticyclone 140
III THE TRIUMPH OF THE PEDIGREE
12 HereditaryTalent and Character 155
13 Gemmules, Rabbits, Germs, and Stirps 173
14 Nature and Nurture 187
15 Sweet Peas and Anthropometrics 195
16 Probing the Mind 215
17 Fingerprints 231
18 The Birth ofBiometrics 250
19 Galton's Disciples 269
20 Evolution by Jumps 286
21 The Mendelians Trump the Biometricians 303
22 The Triumph of the Pedigree Eugenics 324
Epilogue Out of Pandora's Box: The First International
Congress of Eugenics 345
Notes 359
Bibliography 390
Index 398
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