Generation: III #2
So, as one can evaluate from the actual Eugenics Survey documents, the people "targeted," "investigated" and eugenically-studied were NOT in the Eugenics Survey because of this contemporarily perpetuated DISTORTION repeated in the media, in the various books related to the alleged and re-invented "Abenakis" nor the "environment" of Vermont, by such people as "Chief" or "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis Sr., his daughter April St. Francis-Rushlow-Merrill, Charles Lawrence "Megeso" Delaney, John Scott Moody, and numerous other persons affiliated with these "Abenaki" Incorporate groups throughout Vermont and or New Hampshire.
What the Eugenics Survey Record documents to indicated and point out, quite clearly, is that the Field Researchers employed by Henry Farnham Perkins, under the University of Vermont, pulled Burlington Free Press newspaper articles, etc and began studying the "social histories" of various persons that were delinquent, truant from educational institutions (i.e. schools), or because they were mentally defective and had been placed already in Institutions (such as the Brandon State School for the Feebleminded; Vergennes, Vermont State Industrial School, etc. i.e. "Reform Schools"), or for their apparent "criminality" and anti-social behaviors within the perspective communities in which the subject family lived.
What the Field Researchers of the Eugenics Survey did, was use what was already available pertaining to the particular family and or person, from the various Agencies and institutional intake records etc, such as the records from
the "Children's Aid and Protective Societies" found throughout New England (the Eugenics-allied Agencies in various States, then was called the "Children's Aid and Protective Society." It was when that agency was actually the early development and creation" that it was allied with the Eugenics Survey of Vermont. It is what we, in 2010, know today, as the "Children's Protective Services" Department, a.k.a. Department of Child and Youth Services, and in Vermont the State had retrospectively used the acronym S.R.S. for C.P.S. / and it was a.k.a. .... D.C.Y.F.)
Before I end this particular posting I want to add this particular email that I received recently, to clarify a few "points of concern from others", that I have become aware of.
Subject: Eugenics Records
Monday, November 1, 2010 1:55:29 PM
Mr. Douglas Lloyd Buchholz:
This is a follow-up to our conversation of a few minutes ago by telephone.
The records you have that were drawn from relatives and other non-government sources are outside our legal custodianship. You collected some records in May of 1996 from the then Vermont Public Records Division within the Department of Buildings and General Services and were not asked to sign any non-disclosure form about the release of Personably Identifiable Information (PII). Based on conversations with the Attorney-General’s Office the State of Vermont has limited, if any, jurisdiction over those copies. The Attorney General’s Office and the Archives agree that HIPPA does not apply to these records.
I will re-iterate the points I made in our conversation.
Our interest is not in promoting any claim of State secrecy, but rather a concern for any lasting stigma attached to families that were subject to the Eugenics Study. We ask that researchers not disclose personal names to protect the subject families. In this specific case we can do no more than ask.
The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA), which gained custody of the Eugenics records as part of the Archives Act of 2003, does have a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which we will review in light of the current case. We continue to believe that 1 V.S.A. §317 (c)(7), the personal information exemption, may apply, though not in the case of copies that you made 14 years ago without a non-disclosure agreement. We will look at that as part of our review of these policies.
You also asked about microfilming the records given their fragility (deterioration due to handling by the public). At this point it is really a resource problem and even if we gain the resources, it will probably be to digitize, rather than microfilm, them.
Vermont State Archives and Records Administration
I have, at this point in time only, concluded that I have addressed enough of the Eugenics Survey documents in my possession (for the present time) to make my point.
The woman, "Dear Miss Harriett E. Abbott" who was a eugenically-trained Field Researcher at Cold Springs Harbor, New York (who had previously worked in the Children's Aid and Protective Society) was not hunting down Abenakis with a scalpel, surgical sewing thread and needle, with a pair of medical scissors in hand....across Vermont or anywhere else (she used a typewriter and a fountain pen). To believe otherwise (like author Beth Kanell for example and her book "Darkness Under the Water") is to not understand really the period of time the Eugenics mind-set swept the country, as it had been sweeping across Germany; nor does believing that the Eugenics Survey "sterilized" Abenaki men, women and children" does anyone any real healing....because it is based on a distortion (which has been perpetuated again and again by the likes of the St. Francis/Sokoki group led by the St. Francis family members up in Swanton, Vermont) based not a PURE VERMONT YANKEE MYTH, but on PURE CONJECTURE that has no factual documentary evidence (in these "Abenaki" Inc. groups' hands or otherwise) to support their mythical claims!
Harriett Abbott and the other Eugenics Field Researchers were SURVEYING "eugenically" (as they had been "trained" to do) the mix-blood descendants of families in Vermont (or who had come into Vermont) that were self-identifying as "French," etc., who were deemed "Feeble minded" "Diseased" "Retarded" "Syphilitic" and or numerous other "Defects" such as having T.B. or Tuberculosis Bacillus (which is a common and often deadly infectious disease caused by various strains of Mycobateria, usually Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in humans).
Remember, the American Society as a whole was traumatized by the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 (where literally whole families were dieing, literally in a matter of days, and weeks, and no one knew if the epidemic would claim more victims or not. Aside from the sudden death rates in communities and Cities across America, there was WW1 and WW2 where Town "coffers" were constantly being "drained" by the poor, and the sick. Transients were living on Poor Farms. Remember, they had no Social Security nor 401K Plans, and monetary nest eggs were usually "only for the rich." Everyone "in the upper crust of society, who lived "up on the hill" in the fancy homes, with the neatly dressed children (who got in trouble too, but were "saved" by wealthy parents who contributed to the educational instituations, to the banks, and to the Town coffers) wanted a Utopia, and a PURE YANKEE VERMONT "Norman Rockwell" scenic State.
The Eugenics Survey was merely a concocted and planned "stepping stone," for removing the "unwanted" which were looked upon as "the smudge" in the imagined Utopia of Rural Vermont Development painting. Rural Development, City Design, and Vermont Tourism, all conflicted with the reality, that in particular "geographically-perceived area's (such as the Burlington Waterfront) "perculiar" families lived in places that were called "Stove Pipe City" "Paradise Alley" "Rouser's Town" that "got in the way" of the "Good Families" (that is to mean, the richer families) plans.
"Nazism"....it's ideations, concepts and thoughts in Amerika were just as much a reality as it was in Europe during the time. "The Cost To The State" still is heard in some circles of conversation today.... really it was and is all about Control, Power, and Ego. People attempting to control other people.
Now these so-called "Abenaki" groups (who are merely incorporation's sanctioned under Vermont and or N.H. State Laws) are "whoring themselves out," and attempting to give themselves Official "Vermont State Recognition," to themselves (and just for themselves) while sitting on that Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs today. Their excuses for the lack of genealogical, historical, and social connection(s) to the Abenaki Communities, and the reality that they only began self-identifying as "Indians" or as "Abenakis" on any record after 1976, is simply....."the Eugenics Survey caused us all to hide-in-plain-sight."
Well, what about BEFORE the Eugenics Survey occured? Where is the clear and convincing Abenaki genealogical connection(s) between 1630-1750-1799-1820-1850-1890-or 1900 for the members in these Incorporations? (Silence?)
No wonder these so-called and self-identifying "Abenaki" people are "concerned" about my putting out on this blog, these actual Eugenics Survey documents. Because just as the genealogical dynamic (requirement) doesn't work for these Vermont and New Hampshire Inc. groups (just like that alleged "Abenaki" Watch Mr. Fred M. Wiseman PhD. used, and that RPPC meaning a Real Photographic Postcard)...didn't work for that group's retrospective B.I.A./O.F.A. Recognition Petition in 2005 nor in 2007....... the Eugenics EXCUSE isn't going to work as an EXCUSE for the lack of Abenaki genealogical connections regarding these groups either!
Anyway, I will "address" and post these photocopied Vermont Eugenics Records in the blog (later on when I get to that point). Reviewing the Exhibit material, I could not simply place this documentation up on the blog, without, first explaining WHY I was going to post this redacted and then the subsequent unredacted documents. The reason the St. Francis family (in part) was looked at, and investigated in the Eugenics Survey of Vermont, was because those particular family members were living in particular geneographical locations (such as a specific tenement housing in Burlington for example), that the City wanted to redevelop. So the Eugenics Survey would come along, take down a name of the tenant, and begin to "study" that person, where they came from, etc. Then they would travel to, or write to the "home" location of the person (such as Swanton, Vermont or Peacham, Vermont) and begin to "map" out the family ancestry, ask questions of Town Clerks, Institutional Caretakers, School Truancy Officers, Poor Farm managers, and so on.
What strikes me as very particularly odd, is that...out of thousands of people in a particular family, not a one of them mentioned being "Abenaki" or being of "Abenaki descent" and that such declarations weren't recorded by the Eugenics Survey? Not one of the people interviewed, and who were repeatedly questioned by the Eugenics Field Researchers (such as Miss Abbott or Mrs. Webster)....not a single School Teacher, Prison Administrator, Poor Farm manager, nor a Town Clerk that KNEW THESE varioius families, ever mentioned, that these particular families and or persons were descended or connected to the Abenaki?
Right now, I want to begin posting next.....the State of Vermont's Response To Petition For Federal Acknowledgement of the St. Francis/ Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont which was compiled and created by the State of Vermont Attorney General, Mr. William H. Sorrell and Eve Jacobs-Carnahan, Special Assistant Attorney General, that was published in 2002 and 2003.
So, for right now, I will set aside the Eugenics documents of these particular families afore-mentioned (but in the near future, I will work with those materials in a more in depth way on this blog). I know some people have been sending inquirying emails and making phone calls to the State, "as if the sky were falling on their heads," in their concern about my intentions to placing the actual Eugenics Survey Records (redacted and unredacted) onto this blog. I going to expose these Eugenics Records to the light of day, whether some alleged and re-invented "Abenakis" like it or not. Just not-right-now. I will also be placing the unredacted Woodward Eugenics documentary material as well, onto this blog (right along with the rest of the material) because such relates to the other familes that were "studied eugenically" too, from ca. 1914 up into the 1930's.
I fully acknowledge and do relate to the feelings of other's apparent anxiety, hesitation, and mental anguish....in realizing what I am going to do with these particular documents, pertaining to the Vermont Eugenics Study. How long are we all going hear and talk about the Vermont Eugenics with such a distorted lense (where relatives who seek these records, are asked to perpetuate this so-called "de-identification" of historical record documents) pertaining to those persons and families who were subjected to the likes of Harriett Abbott's (including Josephine Webster, and Henry Farnham Perkins) distorted "scientific study" of Eugenics, here in N'dakinna/ New England?
I refuse to let the State of Vermont seemingly attempt to "bury" these Eugenics documents using the HIPAA Law, as if these records are "medical", or that these historical records mean nothing to the present generation or to the future generations within Vermont.
As with any sharp piece of obsidian (volcanic glass), which can cut life-sustaining meat from the body of a moose, deer or rabbit, that very same tool can be used to cut the fingers of the hunter as well, depending on the attention of the person doing the cutting. I understand, acknowledge and respect that duality.
My family's Woodward ancestors descendants (and kinship relatives) were partially investigated, labeled, harassed, institutionalized )and yes documentarily some were very likely "surgically sterilized" before leaving the Pembroke Sanitarium and or the Concord, N.H. State Hospital in the early 1920's to mid-1930's). But not because they were self-identifying or having been identified as "Abenakis," "Indians" or "Native Americans" or "Mixed Bloods."
The Eugenics Field researchers were also "looking their noses down" on women who had become divorced, had allegedly committed adultery, etc. Young girls (particularly if they were pretty) and Miss Harriett Abbott paid particular (nearly obsessively) attention, in "keeping their attention on these young women like Christie May nee: Phillips Collins Sargent Sweetser Place Ingerson.
Harriett Abbott and the Eugenics Survey were simply creating a "Repository" (much like a library would be for books). In these Eugenics Office(s) repositories, there would be "indexed" Master Name cards (and the accompanying eugenic files) on the identified "good" families (good traits and genes) which were to be promoted....and even more importantly, the identified and labeled "bad" families (bad traits and genes), of whom were to be institutionalized, housed, gotten rid of, and or sterilized. After the Eugenics closed down for lack of funding, it simply took on a new name (it didn't go away btw)....because now-a-days Eugenics is called "GENETICS" .... and Cold Springs Harbor is still open for business, as is I.B.M. too.
Perhaps Nancy (nee: Millette) Doucet might like to sit back and perhaps re-think the retrospective reality of her participation in the National Genographic Project? But then again, allegedly testing her own DNA, she has (retrospectively-speaking) finally found that elusive [very distant 30,000 year old?] "Indian" DNA, so now she can be Chief of a supposed bonefide Koasek of the Koas Abenaki...considering that everything else from the retrospective "Koasek Abenaki Academy", the "Abenaki Village" in Jefferson, New Hampshire, where her ancestors Flora Eunice Ingerson-Hunt and Almira Rines-Ingerson-Polluck allegedly were born, and lived.....were merely concocted, unsubstantiated half-baked "stories" that have been proven to be just that....stories. Nothing more and nothing less.
Oh that's right, the VCNAA there in Vermont is already calling Nancy Doucet aCHIEF!
Even on some websites on the Internet, Nancy Doucet's group has already been claiming to be Vermont State Recognized, right along with the St. Francis/ Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont being led by April Merrill !!!