Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
, FROM 'WAY BACK
A young man Tolled himself a few days, ago and left a note 'Vrg why
he did it. He wrote that he was: too weak to fight the battle c life. His
greatest weakness was mental, he declared. He had convinced himaelf that
be had no show-ai all because he knew that his ancestors had not been
successful. The meaning of success, to him, may have been the getting
together 'of a whole lot of money. And in their failure to do that, 50 "or
100 or more years ago, when conditions were not as they are now, the young
man thought his forebears were "weak."
Judging-from his letter, written before;he .drank "poison; he" bad read
up on the subjects of inherited weaknesses, diseases and such. He had
become interested in these questions by the theories and dreams of eugenist
It's too bad he did not rea'cf Luther Burbank's explanation of how he
perfected the white blackberry. Acfeordirig, to that horticultural wizard,
there is no previous record.. 6f a "purje white blackberry. Yet there must
have been one 'way back somewhere, else how could he have reproduced it?
He found a small, ill-flavored, yellowish brown berry and interbred it with
a large, luscious blackberry. In the first generation the blackberry was the
stronger, but the qualities of the 'otbjer berry were still in the olfspring.
The second generation showed greater indications of returning to the
traits or color of the more obscure grandparent the white blackberry.
In still later generations, a greater reversion took place and the pure
white-blackberry, of fine flavor, "an inheritance from a remote and long
forgotten ancestor," was finally produced.
That the same conditions apply to the rule of inheritance among ani
mals and humans as among plants ia proved by the fact that ihere are hun
dreds of cases where perfectly normal children have been born of parents
deficient in one way or another. Just as the sins pf the father may descend
unto the-third and fourth, generation, their virtues may also be handed
down. All that is needed to develop them and to enable this generation,"
for instance, to put them to good use, is to provide for the proper housing
and nourishment of the young men and women of the .present day; the
payment of sufficient wages for work done by them; and the' opportunity to
get an education, in even the common schools, for which dTl 'taxpayers pay.
Then the white-blackberries ohumanity can be developed without the
aid of loveless eugenic marriages and. young folks will not he discouraged
by the thought that-because their .ancestors were' "failures, they, too, must
'fail. - . -.' " . .
DIARY OF FATHER TIME
In noirespec't is the progress of
the ageSmciire-vIsible than in the ap
parent trifling matter of chUdreVa
books. Th'evimjirovemeht in their
moral tone, alone, within the last few
hundred years, has been enormous.
The good little boy, the hero of infant
literature in the old days, stood the
chance of growing up into a particu-;
larly selfish and' egotistical man. His.
virtue consisted In being different
from some Other little. boygenerally-
his brother, and liis reward was hav
ing a fine, coach to ride iri while his
brother went afoot.
NpjKadays the little' boy promises
to become much more of a man. He
thiuka of othera'as well as himself
and works and looks for his reward,
to a character for good sense.
Another fatal mistake made m the
old children's books was the constant
appearance of a-spirit of cruelty and
revenge. One, if he did not behave
himself i was eaten by wild beasts;