The Puritans as a test case (1945)

Chapter 6 of Mainsprings of Civilization by Ellsworth Huntington. Some previous posts related to Huntington's work on the descendants of New England Puritans. The book (see body of post for link to complete version) also contains discussion of Icelanders, Junkers, and various other groups.
Here, focusing on a larger sample of names, Huntington finds that the descendants of the earliest Puritan settlers are more successful than those descended from later waves, and those with a greater degree of New England ancestry are more successful than those with less New England ancestry (continue reading).

[Note: Text OCRed from a scanned version at the University of Delhi. The final page or two of this chapter is missing from the scanned source material. To view the figures, most of which I've omitted, see the PDF (Chapter 6 starts on p. 98).]


A. The Reality of Puritan Descent

The Puritans of New England furnish a good means of measuring the selective effect of migration. They also provide an example of the kind of results that may be expected when a genuine eugenic system is adopted. In the following discussion it may seem at first that we are glorifying a certain type of American. Further thought will show, however, that this is not the case. We do indeed demon­strate that people of Puritan stock are today unusually competent. The essential point, however, is that this competency is the result of a definite type of selection, and that such selection can produce simi­lar results when applied to practically any kind of people. A popu­lation derived entirely from the readers of this book would probably be outstanding in general ability.

Controversy over the Puritans has been almost as heated as over the Jews. According to William Stoughton, in his election sermon of 1668,' "God sifted a whole nation that he might send choice grain into the wilderness." This grain was Stoughton's own people, the 18,000 Puritans who came to southern New England as permanent settlers, mainly from 1630 to 1643. Some people disagree with Stoughton. Although the Puritans, according to C. E. Banks; "came as they alleged, to find an outlet for their suppressed liberties . . . they were the `scofflaws' of their day, often flouting contumaciously the statutes of the kingdom. [From them] we doubtless inherit our indifference to precedent, disregard of authority, and tendency to in­dividualism." Such differences of opinion are amusing, but incon­clusive. A conclusive test of the value of the Puritans to America must be strictly objective with no chance for personal opinion. Therefore, we shall follow a purely statistical method. Reliable data concerning the Puritans appear to be more abundant than for any other large and conspicuous group of migrants.

Complete separation of people of Puritan descent from the rest of the population is impossible, but a fair approximation can be made by means of family names. Practically no one, of course, is purely of such descent, but millions aie dominantly of that line. These are the people to be discussed. Many Puritan surnames have been brought to this country only once. Many others were brought in early colonial days and not again until at least five or six generations of large families had spread them to hundreds of persons on this side of the ocean. For example, at least 90 per cent of the 1,500 adult men named Huntington who lived in the United States in 1935 were descended from a Puritan who set sail for Boston with four sons and a daughter in 1635.2 The other 10 per cent are partly, if not wholly, of similar descent from ancestors who left New England for Canada or elsewhere before or during the Revolution and then lost trace of their New England ancestry.

The name Whitney illustrates a slightly different condition. Most of the numerous Whitneys in America ale descended hom John Whit­ney who set tied at Watertown near Boston in 1635. Six of his eight sons lived to manhood and had about fifty-five children. Two other Whitneys are mentioned in early records, but as nothing more is heard of them, they were probably childless or went back to Eng­land. A fourth, named Henry, of the same stock as John but not closely related, is first heard of in Long Island in 1649. He had eleven children, who were contemporaries of the fifty-five grandchil­dren of John. These two Whitney families increased so that 382 heads of families of that name were listed in the census of 1790. All but nine of these lived in New England or close by in New York, mostly on Long Island. Inasmuch as the name is rare in England and no other Whitneys are known to have migrated to America, five sixths of the Americans with this name are presumably descended from an ancestor who arrived in I635, and about one sixth from a man who arrived ten oi more years later. Since we cannot separate these two lines of descent, all the Whitneys are treated as if they be-longed to the main group descended from a settler arriving in 1635. This illustrates the fact that the names here used do not represent a pure ancestry of a given type, but merely an ancestry in which a given type is dominant. If we could find large groups of pure an­cestry, the types discussed below might differ even more than they they do now.

In estimating the significance of the facts which will soon be given, it must be noted that descent from a particular ancestor is far less significant than descent from the social group represented by that ancestor. Nevertheless, it is often surprising to see the facial resem­blance between people of the same name, even though they are only distantly related. Inasmuch as we are here tracing descent by means of names, we are of course limited to the male line. How limited that line is may be judged from an example. Suppose that for eight generations each family consisted of two sons and two daughters who grew up and had similar families with four surviving children. The children of the first such set of four-the grandchildren of the man with whom the name starts-would comprise four boys and four girls bearing the original name and the same numbers with other names. Inasmuch as the girls would change their name on marriage, only four out of sixteen families of these grandchildren would bear the original name. In the next generation only eight out of sixty-four families would retain the name. Thus the eighth generation would consist of 64,536 descendants, but only 256-one out of every 256-would be men who still bore the old name. Too much stress, how-ever, must not be laid on names. The really important matter is selective, or assortative, marriage. People tend to marry into families of their own kind far more than into others. They also tend to marry neighbors. Both of these tendencies were especially strong in New England throughout colonial times and well on toward the end of the last century. Cousin marriages-not first cousins, but third, fourth, and so on-were so frequent that almost all the leading fami­lies in most villages and towns were connected. Moreover, early set-tiers who arrived in successive years tended to establish different vil­lages, the newcomers jumping over the older ones, so to speak, in order to pick out the best possible unoccupied land, Hence the de­scendants of people arriving at any particular time were especially likely to marry descendants of others who arrived at that same time. Thus the new racial stock which was being built up differed some-what from place to place and was partially stratified into classes.

B. Finding Fair Samples

In order to pick out names representing a particular type of colo­nial ancestry a rigid mathematical procedure is needed. A census volume makes it easy to pick out all family names which in 1790 were borne by at least twenty-five heads of families. Among these there are many whose bearers to the extent of at least 50 per cent were concentrated in one or another of lour regions, namely, northern New England, southern New England, Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, Maryland 4), and South Atlantic (Virginia and North and South Carolina). This purely statistical basis provides 129 colonial names belonging primarily to northern New England, 588 to southern New England, 214 to the Middle Atlantic States, and 228 to the South Atlantic. For New England the entire alphabet has been used, but for the other two regions only the first part.

For the present we will confine ourselves to southern New Eng­land Such names as Angell, Conant, Mather, and Seymour are in­cluded there, together with the presidential names of Coolidge, Gar-field, Cleveland, Lincoln,-- Pierce, Taft, and Tyler. On the other hand, such widely and honorably known names as Adams, Brown, Edwards, Jones, Smith, Stone, and Williams are automatically ex­cluded because in 1790 they were not concentrated to the extent of 50 per cent in any one of our four regions. They were borne by many Puritans, but also by many immigrants of other types. People with these names are so numerous in Great Britain that they have come to America in considerable numbers at all times clown to the present. Moreover, many German immigrants have Anglicized such names as Braun, Schmidt, and Stein. Thus the seven widely used old English names mentioned above are borne by a random sample of the descendants of average migrants from Great Britain and, in minor degree, from Germany during the whole period from colonial days to our own. For this reason these seven (with the addition of Davis and Johnson, or Johnston, in our study of business) have been put in a separate category as a control on the others.

The names belonging primarily to southern or northern New England, and those of the Middle Atlantic States so far as they were also found in New England before 1692, have been divided accord­ing to the date, as given by Savage, when the first bearer of the name

* Pennsylvania is not available.
j- The name Lincoln, with 155 out of 210 heads in southern New England in 1790 and all but one of the others in northern New England, is omitted because many "Lincoln Laundries," "Lincoln Restaurants," and so forth have been estab­lished by men with other names. Individuals of other than Puritan descent have also adopted the name quite freely. This illustrates one of the factors which cause the figures given below to be less impressive than they presumably would be if we could segregate pure Puritan ancestry.

appeared in New England. Among the southern New England names, 193 arrived in 1620-35; 233 in 1636--43; 138 in 1644-92; and 24 in 1693-1790. The number of names in each group represents roughly the amount of immigration into southern New England in each period. After 1643, when Cromwell's rebellion ended the persecu­tion of the Puritans in England, a period of fifty years showed far less immigration than the preceding seven, while throughout the cen­tury from 1690 to 1790 immigration was greatly reduced. Poor soil, rugged hills, stern Puritanism, and blue laws made southern New England relatively unattractive in comparison with states farther south. Immigration to New England did not revive until 1830, but even after that, until the end of the nineteenth century, old New England families intermarried very little with newcomers. Thus the 588 names selected because of their dominance in southern New Eng­land after the Revolution represent a racial stock, or "kith," * as we may call it, which originated for the most part from 1630 to 1642 and then remained almost unmixed for more than two centuries ex­cept as it was joined by people who were more or less like-minded, During the last century the amount of mixing with other types of old American stock, and with more recent immigrants has steadily increased. It should be noted, however, that inasmuch as the adults with whom we deal in this study were born mainly before 1900, they still carry a large percentage of old Puritan ancestry-far more than

* Some good term is needed for groups of people smaller than races and often derived from a mixture of races. Such groups may be nations, but may extend beyond national boundaries or comprise only a part of the people within such boundaries. In general the groups for which we need a name have a common language and culture and intermarry freely with one another. The French and Sicilians, for example, form such groups, as do the Indians who speak Quiche on the plateau of Peru. "Natio-racial," a term suggested by Hirsch, is hard to pro­nounce and carries too strong a racial implication. Moreover, it scarcely applies to groups like the Quichu Indians, who in no sense form a nation. "Ethnos" might be goad, except that "ethnic" is too closely tied up with race in the de­batable sense of the word.

Fortunately the English Ianguage contains a word which seems well fitted to our purpose. "kith" is archaic and obsolete except in the phrase "kith and kin." There, according to Webster's International Dictionary, it means "familiar friends, neighbors, fellow countrymen, or acquaintance, collectively." Only "by confusion" does it mean "kindred or kin." It seems legitimate, then, to give kith a more defi­nite anthropological meaning. We may define a kith as a group of people relatively homogeneous hr language and culture, and freely intermarrying with ones another.

is carried by most of the people bearing such names as Adams, Brown, and others of our random sample.

The differences between persons descended from Puritans who ar­rived in America eatly in contrast to those who arrived later are sur­prisingly great. The distinction between groups based on date of arrival is clearer than many people would suppose. The earliest colonists settled on the seaboard or in a few especially favorable places on rivers. In a few years small villages grew up. Later ar­rivals went a few miles beyond these older villages and established new ones of their own. In colonial times and clown almost to our own day, as we have seen, the vast majority of people married neigh­bors. If they went outside their own locality, the chances were that they would marry into families of their own type. Ministers' fami­lies, for example, were especially prone to marry into those of other ministers or of deacons. Religious prejudices were strong. This fact tended to cause the earliest settlers, who were the most intensely reli­gious, to marry their own kind. Thus, although then e has unques­tionably been a great amount of intermarriage between the descend-ants of the four groups of immigrants arriving in successive periods from 1620 to 1790, there was a real distinction so long as people stayed near the old homes.

Even when the Puritan stock migrated westward, the distinction between groups of different origin did not vanish. Hundreds or thousands of midwestern villages were settled by New Englanders and for a long time had relatively little to do with villages settled by people from other sections. Such places as, Beloit, Wisconsin, with its college and great white Congregational church, still boast of their New England quality. Moreover, in many instances the people who settled in a midwestern locality came in large proportions from a particular neighborhood in New England. The assortative tendency in marriage emphasizes the distinction between different types of settlers. Thus old differences were preserved to a considerable de­gree well down toward the latter part of the last century. Neverthe­less, none of the four groups with which we shall now deal can be counted as more than a diluted sample. Each merely represents more than the average of descent from ancestors who arrived at a particu­lar time. Hence the clear differences which we shall find are doubly significant. If the four groups had remained completely separated, the differences would presumably be much greater.

C. A Measurement of Achievement

Having selected our Puritan names and divided them into groups according to the date when the name first appeared in America, let us see how many representatives of each line of descent now live in the United States. For this purpose, the number of entries under each name was counted in the directories of thirty-eight cities well distrib­uted over the country.* On the assumption that among old white stock the names in the cities are representative of those in the sur­rounding areas as a whole, it is possible to estimate the total popu­lation belonging to each type of name in each main section of the United States.

The next step is to find reliable statistical data whereby to meas­ure the ability and achievements of the bearers of the various types of names. For this purpose we have chosen (1) the proportion of professional men, inventors, directors of corporations, and persons in Who's Who or the Encyclopadia Britannica, (2) credit ratings in busi­ness, and (3) criminals and persons on relief. More than the average ability and persistence are ordinarily required to obtain an education for medicine, law, engineering, or other professions. It usually re-quires hard, intelligent work to make an invention and patent it or to succeed so well in business that one becomes a director of a cor­poration or establishes a concern that gets a high credit rating in Dun and Bradstreet's Reference Book. Clergymen, social reformers, and physicians tend to be altruistic and morally strong as well as in­telligent. Inclusion in Who's Who or the encyclopedia normally in­dicates unusual capacities as well as achievements. A high credit rating in business denotes reliability and good management. Crime and chronic dependence on relief, on the other hand, are often signs of innate weakness as well as of misfortune.

The fact that names which rank high in the most creditable re­spects rank low in clime and dependence is significant. It indicates, among other things, that we are not being misled by any possible mistakes in estimating the number of people bearing each type of came. The same thing is indicated by criteria such as ratings in business. Of course, each of our groups contains a certain number of people who are not oC colonial descent, but according to the laws of chance the percentage of these ought to be essentially the same in each of the large groups with which we are working.

D. Date of Arrival and Success

Figure 9 illustrates some of the main results of this study of names. The four bars in each group represent people bearing names that appeared in New England during successive periods. The periods begin with A, 1620-35, when the earliest Puritan immigration oc­curred. They go on to B, 1636-42, when immigration was heaviest, then to C, 1643-92, when the strongly Puritan type was no longer so dominant, and, finally, D, 1693-1790, when migration was almost at a standstill. Names characteristic of any one of three areas, namely, northern and southern New England and the Middle Atlantic States, are all included here. Bars A, B, and C largely represent New Eng­land stock. The latest bar (D), however, is equally strongly repre­sentative of names which may have come first to New England, but which belonged primarily to Long Island, southern New York, and northern New Jersey in 1790.
In the scale on the left of Figure 9, a level of 100 indicates the average proportion of authors, scientists, lawyers, or others, when the entire 1,164 names employed in this study are put together. In other words, the averages as a whole are based on 84,701 t entries of professional men and other leaders in reference books and on 1,191,-380 entries in city directories which represent an estimated present population of 9,412,290 people.

The outstanding fact about Figure 9 is that 9 out of 11 groups show an uninterrupted, steplike descent from a high level for the earliest names to a lower level for the later names. Of course each each type of name includes persons with almost every degree of ability, but we are discussing averages. The departure from regularity in the left-hand group-the one for the Enryclopcedia Britannica-is prob­ably due to mere accident, The number of persons involved is too small to be significant except in column B, as appears from the num­bers above the bars. The reason for the other departure, among lawyers, is unknown.

Figure 10 is like Figure 9, but is based only on people in Who's Who. Therefore, the number of persons is sometimes too small to be significant, as in the group for military men on the right. Neverthe­less, the same steplike regularity is dominant. The only instances where bars based on more than one hundred men fail to show the ex­pected regularity are the ones labelled B for educators and literary men. Their departure from the rule simply means that in those two occupations the group with names dating flour 1636 to 1642 slightly excels the one with names that first appear from 1620 to 1635.

The general meaning of Figures 9 and 10 is clear. The fact that, aside from the bars for names belonging to the latest period (1693-1790), practically all the other bars rise above 100 shows that old New England names rank high compared with the American aver-age. This does not mean that they outrank other special kinds of names, such as those belonging mainly to people of Quaker, Hugue­not, Old Dutch, or the 1848 types of German descent. On this point we have no exact information, but a general knowledge of such people suggests that they are much hike the Puritan type. A group descended from a highly selected ancestry of almost any origin would presumably show similar characteristics. The important point just now, however, is that the degree of leadership among bearers of Puritan names varies in accordance with the date when the name first appeared in America. The advantage is almost invariably with the older names. Nowhere in Figure 10, and only among encyclopaedia people and lawyers in Figure 9, does either A or B fall below C. Col­umn D, for names arriving in America from 1692 to 1790, almost invariably stands lowest.

This close connection between descent and achievement has little to do with the place where people now live. Even those whose names were found in southern New England to the extent of 75 per cent or more in 1790 are now less numerous in New England (20 per cent) than in the East North Central States (21 per cent). Among the much larger group whose names were found in southern New Eng­land to the extent of 50-75 per cent in 1790, only 13 per cent now live there as against 19 per cent in the East North Central States, 16 per cent in the Middle Atlantic, and 10 per cent each in the South Atlantic and Pacific sections. (Sec Table 8.) On the whole, the pres­ent distribution of our various groups of old New England names is much like that of the entire body of native whites of native parentage except in the South. This wide geographical distribution of New England names is very important. In conjunction with the systematic contrasts in Figures 9 and 10, it indicates that the qualities connected with these names are due to an inheritance of some kind, either cul­tural or biological, which New Englanders carried with them as they migrated westward.

E. Success and Duration of Residence in New England

The length of time that people's ancestors remained in New Eng­land, as well as the time of first arrival, seems to have a connection with their achievements. In Figures 11 and 12, the people bearing the names that were predominantly located in southern New England in 1790 are divided into two groups according to the percentage of the ,bearers of the name remaining there at that time. No attention is paid to the date when the name reached America. For Group A the percentage is 75-100 and for B, 50-75. This gives a clear-cur separation according to the amount of both cultural and biological inheritance received from the Puritans. The result is astonishing. According to every one of our twenty-one criteria, the people with the greater degree of Puritan inheritance surpass those having less.
The intimate relation between success and Puritan ancestry is em­phasized by the fact that names which belonged primarily to northern New England or the Middle Atlantic States in 1790 agree with the southern New England names. 'This is evident in Figure 13, which is based on 31,000 scientists, directors of corporations, social workers, engineers, and persons mentioned in Who's Who. On the left we have names that were found in southern New England to the extent of 75-100 per cent (section I), or of 50-75 per cent (section II). Then come names belonging to northern New England (III), the Middle Atlantic States (IV), and finally all of these combined (V). The four bars of each section represent names arriving in America at successive dates, In each case the two earlier types of names have the advan­tage, and in all except the 75-100 per cent type of southern New England there is the same regular, steplike quality as in Figures 9 and 10. In other words, the earlier the name, the greater the achievement.

In order to complete the picture two other sections have been added to Figure 13. One of these (VI) shows the contrast between names that were still confined largely to one of the two sections of New Eng­land in 1'790 (75-100 per cent), and those whose bearers had spread more widely, leaving only 50-75 per cent still near the old home. The other diagram (VII) shows a regular decline from names belong­ing to southern New England in 1790 (50 per cent or more) td those of northern New England, the Middle Atlantic States, the South, and finally a control group representing ordinary British- migration to America at all dates. The control is based on the following names: Adams, Brown, Edwards, Jones, Smith, Stone, Williams, and a ran­dom list of names which appeared in the Middle Atlantic States be-fore 1790, but were not found in New England prior to 1692. The significant feature of this study is the systematic way in which early Puritan ancestry is associated with high achievement, even though the persons who bear this ancestry are now found in all parts of the United States.

F. Patentees, Religious Leaders, and Heredity

Although the strong relationship between ancestry and achievement can scarcely be doubted, its cause is by no means clear. Is it due to heredity or environment? That both play a part seems certain. The study of twins, as illustrated by the work of Newman, Freeman, and others, is probably the most convincing of the many lines of evidence which indicate that mental characteristics are the combined result of heredity and environment. Identical twins, it will be remembered, possess the same hereditary make-up because they are derived from a single ovum which divides into two separate parts instead of producing a single embryo. Careful measurements show that identical twins are much more alike than ordinary twins or than brothers and sisters who are not twins. When brought up together, they are extraordinarily alike in appearance. Even their best friends often have difficulty in telling them apart. Moreover their grades in school, their intelli­gence quotients, their likes and dislikes, their fluctuations in health, and many other features of their lives are amazingly similar. On the other hand, when brought up apart, identical twins show dis­tinct differences, but still are much more alike than ordinary brothers and sisters or than fraternal (non-identical) twins would be under the same circumstances. If the environments are sufficiently different, identical twins may differ somewhat in height and a good deal in weight. If one is brought up in an unfavorable environment, he may acquire a sullen disposition or be retarded mentally so that his IQ falls distinctly below that of his more fortunate twin. Nevertheless, the resemblances, both physical and mental, still remain greater than among corresponding pairs who are less closely alike genetically.

The study of twins has led careful students to believe almost uni­versally that people's intelligence and temperament, as well as their physical characteristics, are always a combination of the influence of heredity and environment. In are trained almost identically but differ greatly in temperament, he­redity may be the dominant factor in causing differences of character and achievement. In other cases, such as identical twins who live under highly diverse conditions from infancy onward, environment may account for large differences in character and achievements. Al-though there seems to be clear-cut and convincing evidence that he­redity and environment are of approximately equal importance in determining human characteristics, many people still think that en­vironment, especially childhood education, is far more important than heredity. This attitude has of late been rather prominent among sociologists, anthropologists, and educators.

Because of this attitude it is especially desirable to inquire how far environment alone can account for the observed facts as to pat­ents, for example. People who take out more than one patent within a year are presumably endowed by heredity with unusually active and original minds. For example, in 1907, 1908, and 1909, Thomas A. Edison took out twenty-three, twelve, and thirty-two patents respec­tively. His co-workers helped, to be sure, but he was the dominating spirit. Figure 14 shows that in the field of invention the relative achievements of people with different types of ancestry vary in essen­tially the same way as in the various lines illustrated in the five pre-ceding diagrams. Figure 14 is based on the percentage of patentees taking out more than one patent per year according to the records for five years. The left-hand section shows a close approximation to sec­tion V of Figure 13. It indicates that when all New England and Middle Atlantic names are divided according to their date of appear-ant e in America, the early names are more likely than the later ones to be represented by inventors. The middle section of Figure 14, like section VI of Figure 13, shows a similar condition for names which prevailed in southern New England to the extent of 75-100 per cent in 1790 in comparison with similar names which prevailed there to the extent of only 50-75 per cent. Finally, on the right the patentees bearing colonial names belonging to each of four geographic sections show approximately the same relative numbers as the corresponding people of section VII in Figure 13. The control, which represents a population of 3,130,000, stands lowest, as usual.

Although the three sections of Figure 14 are less impressive and more irregular than the corresponding parts in Figure 13, they show the same persistent tendency for early names and strongly New ling-land names to outrank others. Inventiveness depends to a large de­gree upon innate personal traits. The development of these traits is,individual cases, such as brothers who of course, much influenced by the cultural environment in which people live. Nevertheless, it does not seem probable that the cul­tural environment alone could cause the differences seen in Figure 14. It is obvious that the presence of a strong strain of Puritan ancestry, especially the early type, tends to make people inventive. It seems as though this must indicate that an innate tendency toward inventive­ness plays some part in the matter.

The occupations which most strongly attract people likewise sug­gest that the present position of the Puritan kith depends on bio­logical as well as social heredity. The earliest Puritan settlers were extremely religious, but their descendants, although still leaders in religion, do not put it first to any such extents did their ancestors. In fact, relatively speaking, they neglect this field of effort far more than do people of average British stock. Rarely, if ever, has a colonizing group equaled the earliest Puritans in its proportion o1 minis­ters and university graduates. These people and their companions were the ones in whom the religious motive was most dominant. Within a few years alter 1630, however, economic as well as religious motives began to play an increasingly prominent part in sending Puritans across the Atlantic. After 1643 the economic motive was apparently dominant.

If the present characteristics of the Puritan stock are due mainly to social inheritance, we should expect that the tendency toward religion which was so strong in early days would be especially strong now among the descendants of the earliest comers. Such is by no means the case. Column A in Table 9 shows that among the 300,000 or more people with the highest percentage of Puritan descent, 5.7 times as many are in the Encyctopreclaa Britannica as would be expected on the basis of population. Among the 3,000,000 who come from south-ern New England stock in general the ratio is 2.2 (column B), whereas among another 3,000,000 bearing widely used names that represent the average migration from England at all periods (column C) it falls to only 0.4. Authors, social workers, and business directors are also strongly represented among the two old New England types and under represented among the average British type. If we go down the table to the clergy (No. 11), however, the ratios for the two Puritan types chop to 1.6 and 1.3, whereas the ratio for the widely used names rises to 1.0. This means that although Puritan stock still does mote than its pi oporiional share in religious leadership, it takes still greater interest in other prolessions, aside from medicine.

Curiously enough, this is the opposite of what happens among people bearing widely used English names such as Jones and Smith. Their representation is lowest in the Encyclopedia Bt atannica and among authors and highest among clergymen. Although their an­cestors came to America primarily for economic profit, their rank among directors of corporations is only 0 6. Such facts seem to mean that among people whose mental capacity is high, the most active minds have a special tendency to gravitate toward the types of work which at the moment are most to the fore. Alert, active minds are attracted by new or challenging occupations. Less alert minds tend to follow the ways of their ancestors. Thus the most strongly Puri-tan type goes in for social work about one and one-half limes as strongly, relatively speaking, as for strictly religious work. This is reversed among the control group representing British migration in general. That group shows little more than half as great a tendency toward social work as toward the ministry. Hence we infer that in­nate mental traits have a good deal to do with the index numbers of Table 9.

G. Business Success, Heredity, and Selective Migration

A third line of evidence may throw light on the relative parts played by heredity and environment. It also supplies a forceful illustration of the laws of migration set forth in a previous chapter. Figure 15 shows the percentage of business concerns which receive a high rating in Dun and Bradstreet's Reference Book. Its four sections represent conditions among people residing in four geographical regions, namely, New York City, the North Atlantic area aside from that city, the North Central States from Ohio to the Rocky Mountains, and, finally, the Pacific Coast. The three bars of each section represent degrees of Puritan ancestry. The left-hand bar represents the type of name ,which in 1790 was found in southern New England to the extent of 75-100 per cent. Next comes the corresponding 50-75 per cent type, and on the right the northern New England names.

Figure 16 is similar to Figure 15 except that the bars indicate time of arrival of names in southern New England, namely, up to 1635, from 1636 to 1643, and from 1644 to 1790. In both figures New York City shows the usual strongly steplike arrangement with the greatest degree of Puritan ancestry standing highest. The rest of the North-east shows a similar, but less pronounced, condition that agrees well with what we have 'found again and again as to Puritan achievements. In the North Central region, however, there is no significant trend either way, and all the bars are approximately equal, On the Pacific Coast a reversal occurs. This state of affairs seems curious, but it agrees with what would be expected from the laws of migration as et forth in a previous chapter.

Omitting for the moment the effects of migration, let us see what the diagrams for New York City and the Northeast suggest concerning heredity. A high rating in Dun and Bradstreet normally means both integrity and business capacity. Training and opportunity cer­tainly play a prominent pat t in making men good executives. Never­theless, success in business, especially where competition is so keen as in New York, must depend also to a large degree upon innate capac­ities. There is no known means of determining how far the steplike arrangement of the diagrams for New York and the Northeast in Fig­ures 15 and 16 is clue to either cultural conditions or heredity. There seems little room for doubt, however, that the two vary together and are jointly responsible for the relative standing of the different types of descent.

Turning now to the problem of migration, we have seen that there is a strong tendency for the most successful business men, as well as others, to migrate away from the country's interior, especially toward the Northeast. We know also that there are definite laws of selec­tion through migration. On this basis the high level of the left-hand bar in the New York sections of Figures 15 and 16 means that the at-traction of New York City has had an especially great effect in drawing thither an unusually large percentage of the 75-100 per cent group whose ancestry would lead us to expect most from them. Hence in the rest of the New England and Middle Atlantic group, as repre­sented in the second section of Figures 15 and 16, the 75-100 per cent type is apparently depleted, so that those who remain rank only a little above the other two groups of old New England stock. Farther west in the North Central States the tendency for the most successful old families to stay in the East has had so much effect that the con­trast between the different kinds of names has disappeared.

Finally, on the Pacific Coast, we seem to see the combined result of the tendency for the most successful types to send out only their less successful members as migrants, and of the opposing tendency for less successful groups to send out their strongest members. Hence in a distant place, such as California, the biological type that is most suc­cessful in the East is surpassed on an average by members of bio­logical groups which in the East do not succeed so conspicuously. This is especially interesting because it` agrees with what we found among suburban people, as indicated by the crossing of the lines in Figure 8. In an exaggerated way "remittance" men in western Canada illustrate the point that we are now making. Many such men are the relatively unsuccessful or erratic sons of the British gentry. Some migrate overseas because of too much drinking, unfortunate escapades, or a moody and discontented spirit. Their better balanced, or more business men, of the remittance men Nevertheless, on the aver of competent people in less conspicu­ous walks of ]tie. The son of a clerk, farmer, or carpenter who goes to a new counuy is often much superior to the general class into which he is born. His intelligence, eneigy, and initiative cause him to succeed to an unusual degree. Thus in a new land at the end of a long or difficult mi­gratton, the normal laws of migration, as we saw in the last chapter, have a distinct tendency to equalize or even reverse the position of social classes. Between New York City and Cali­loinia there is the same sort of re­versal as between London and west-ern Canada. Midway between the re-versed sections there must be a region where the differences disappear, as in the Midwest sections of Figures 15 and 16.

The way in which such a reversal occurs is well illustrated in Figure 17. The lines show Dun and Bradstreet's ratings for old southern New England names (above) and our seven widely used English names (below). From left to right we have sections of
the United States from New England across the country westward and southward. The sections are arranged roughly according to the difficulty of migrating thither from New England. In the upper curve, representing Puritan names, New England itself does not stand so high as the Middle Atlantic and North Central states. In other words, it has not been able to hold its most energetic or able families of the business type in competition with New York, Chicago, and other great industrial centers. Otherwise the Puritan curve slopes steadily downward toward the right, because a large share of the most competent people of this type find satisfactory oppol trinities without migrating far. I he other curve rises steadily toward the regions which are the most difficult to leach from the Northeast and Europe. The reason, as we saw in the last chapter, is that the most energetic and competent people who fail to find good openings near home are the ones most likely to migrate far. If we could carry these same curves further, basing them, perhaps, on the names of Americans in China, we should probably find them coming together, although they might not cross. Their tendency to converge indicates the remarkable way in which a long migration favors a selection such that at the end the migrants tend to be similar despite significant differences in the groups from which they started.

H. Crime and Dependency

Before we attempt to explain the causes of the highly systematic - and illuminating differences between vai ions kinds of names, let us examine crime and dependency. Unfortunately data on these arc not available for our eutite list of names. After Three Centurtes,8 however, contains an account of a preliminat y investigation in which seven distinctively colonial names have been compared with five widely used old English names belonging to immigrants arriving at all times from the earliest colonial days down to the present. For three of the colonial names and four of the others data as to both crime and dependency were obtained from police departments and social service exchanges in seven cities (New York, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Louisville, and Toledo) and three states (Massa­chusetts, Indiana, and Michigan). Table 10 shows that in proportion to the population the representation of the colonial names in credit-able categories is systematically greater than that of the widely used English names. In the less creditable categories of criminals and per-sons on relief the opposite is true.

On the whole, the more difficult achievements are the ones having the higher ratios in Table 10. This again suggests innate mental dif­ferences. Under ordinary circumstances it certainly requires unusual innate capacity as well as good opportunities to secure inclusion in the Encyclopcedia Britannica or even in Who's Who. On the other hand, mere mention in Dun and Bradstreet requires no more than the ability to run a filling station or a small grocery store. Table 10 is especially significant because it suggests that the right kind of de-scent, either biological or cultural, lessens crime and distress as well as increases positive achievements that promote civilization.

The facts here presented as to multiple patents, devotion to re• ligion, business ratings, and crime and dependency all suggest that hereditary mental traits, as well as cultural conditions, enter into the differences among our various types of names.

I. The Selective Process among Early Puritans

We are now ready to amplify what has already been suggested as to the relation between modern success and the time when people's an­cestors arrived in America. The secret seems to lie in something which happened at the time of migration. Taken as a whole, the earliest migrants to New England were the most completely domi­nated by deep religious conviction. They believed that certain things were God's commands, and they had the strength of will to act ac-cording to their beliefs. This does not mean that their beliefs were necessarily right. It simply shows that those early Puritans were in­telligent enough to think for themselves, and then to stick to their convictions and act upon them in spite of opposition and persecution.

Such strength of mind is rare. Thus there was both a mental and a moral selection. Only the most intelligent people have sufficient mental depth to think out a religious problem for themselves. The extremely high proportion of ministers and of graduates of Oxford and Cambridge Universities among the earliest Puritan settlers in New England illustrates this point. Even today it is difficult to find so large a proportion of college graduates except perhaps in small col­lege towns. The iron hand with which the Puritans suppressed their own impulses toward pleasure illustrates their moral strength, even though that strength was often wrongly directed.

Other types of selection were based on temperament and health. Boldness, courage, and physical vigor were needed, especially among the women. It was no light matter to cross the vast ocean on a slow voyage of many weeks and settle in a cold, forested land full of wild savages. Charles E. Banks 1 describes some of the difficulties.
The present generation has scant conception and practically no actual knowledge of the inconveniences which their ancestors experienced in mak­ing the voyage from England to the American continent. The most that is understood and appreciated is the diminutive s17e of the vessels and the long and haiarclous passage xequired under the best conditions to reach the "stern and rockbound coast" of New England. A contemporary writer speaks of the giant seas "hurling their unfixed goods from place to place" from lack of proper stowage. . . . The only possible place for passengers was the space between the towering stern structure and the forecastle or be­tween decks. Below this was the hold, which was used for cargo, the ord­nance, and the stowing of the longboats. In this part of the ship, as we learn from Winthrop's story of the Arbella, cabins had been constructed, probably lough compartments of boards for women and children, while hammocks for the men were swung from every available point of van­tage....

It may be left to speculation how the sanitary needs of the passengers were provided for in ordinary weather with smooth seas. The imagination is beggared to know how the requirements of nature were met in prolonged storms in these small boats when men, women, and children were kept under the hatches for safety. This may be mentioned as an inevitable accom­paniment of emigration in its beginning.
The selection due to temperament and health was most drastic. Many a man who wanted to join an early band of Puritan migrants was undoubtedly deterred because his wife or sweetheart dreaded the venture. Or perhaps either a man, or the woman of his choice, was not of an adaptable temperament. Many fine people cannot easily adjust themselves to new conditions. People with constitutional weaknesses are not likely to migrate to a new and difficult country. They are not adapted to hacking farms out of the wilderness, living in makeshift shacks, and meeting the dangers of wild animals and Indians. Moreover, after the new land was reached, the physical se­lection was at first tremendous. Half the people who landed in Plymouth and a third of those in the first shipload to Boston died during the first year. Almost any genealogical book shows that among the earliest settlers many a man had successively two, three, or even four wives. Young mothers and their babies died in great numbers because of the harshness of the new conditions.

All these types of selection-intellectual, moral, temperamental, and physical-were more severe at first than afterward. The physical se­lection operated more fiercely upon the women than the men, but economic conditions and the difficulty of getting wives gave a selective advantage to the most competent men. Almost half the men who came to America in the early clays never succeeded in getting wives. As late as 1635, typical shiploads of immigrants contained such pro-portions as these: 254 men and older boys not belonging to families, and 132 women and older unattached girls. According to Charles T. Banks, the fare of five pounds was equivalent to at least $150 or $200 in our day, and equipment had to be added. Therefore, it required a fairly substantial economic condition to bring a family, or even one-self and later a prospective wife, to America. Moreover, so many of the more successful men took second wives that the supply for less competent men was limited. For all these reasons, then, the children born in the new land were likely to inherit strong qualities from both parents and to be brought up by mothers of rare quality. It is not surprising to find unusual \achievements among people descended wholly from such ancestors. The surprising thing is to find that even when such descent is much diluted, it still is important.

As soon as Boston and other early settlements blossomed into little. villages with reasonably comfortable houses, the conditions of migra­tion became easier. Newcomers did not have to camp out amid dan­ger from weather and Indians while building log houses. They were hospitably sheltered in kind homes until they could move on a few miles into cabins already prepared. Hence, although the process of selection was still strong, it was not so strenuous as before. With each succeeding year it diminished in intensity. Moreover, the religious motive was more and more supplemented or superseded by purely economic motives. Puritans who would not have thought it worth while to migrate in the first years of the colony concluded that it would be good for their pocketbooks as well as their souls to go to the new country. A gradual change thus occurred in the type of migrant, and the results are manifest in their descendants. The change con­tinued more or less steadily through early colonial times. Then im­migration practically ceased.

When immigration revived alter the War of 1812 its average qual­ity, in spite of many exceptions, seems to have continued downward until about the end of the nineteenth century. This deterioration occurred because the difficulty of migration steadily diminished, while the attraction exerted by talcs of great fortunes grew steadily greater. Steamship agents who brought immigrants to ready-made jobs in America co-operated with makers of great fortunes in reducing the selective power of migration to a low ebb. Energy and adaptability still counted as selective factors, but moral and intellectual selection largely ceased, and temperamental and physical selection counted for little. Nevertheless, even when steamship agents were bringing con-tract laborers by the hundred thousand, migration across the sea re­quired some courage and initiative. Except under unusual condi­tions, however, it did not bring many of the more thoughtful people, or of the upper classes, or even of the most successful peasants. Some improvement of quality doubtless occured when it became illegal to bring contract laborers to this country.

Since World War I an enormous improvement in the mental, and presumably in the moral, quality of American immigrants has again taken place. The quota system in itself places a certain premium upon forethought. The migration of refugees from Bolshevism, Fascism, and the Nazi regime has brought to America large groups of unusually competent people. The main thing that attracted the earliest Puri-tans to America was the opportunity for freedom of thought and action. This same motive has again become dominant in . new wave of migrants who, in intellectual quality, may possibly be of higher caliber than the Puritans, or the Germans of 1848, for whom Carl Schurz may stand as the protagonist. Some of these latest migrants are Jews, but far more are gentiles-Germans, Italians, Czechs, and others who could not stomach Europe's totalitarian regimes. Today almost every American university has on its staff many men of un­usual ability who left Europe because of political difficulties from the time of World War I onward. Thus the quality of migration con-


Anonymous said...

"A popu­lation derived entirely from the readers of this book would probably be outstanding in general ability."

Hilarious. I wonder if that is meant to be dry wit or unironic self-congratulation.

n/a said...

I think it's meant to disarm the reader, but it's also true. People who read books like that (or blogs like this) will tend to be of above-average intelligence.