Frederick Osborn on Wickliffe Draper

The follow memo is part of the American Eugenics Society Papers currently held at the American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia. It was written by Frederick Osborn, then Secretary of the American Eugenics Society.

December 16, 1954
Memorandum for the Eugenic Society
From: FO

FO lunched with Wickliffe Draper at his apartment, 522 East 57th Street, on Tuesday, October 26th. In a general conversation covering the field of eugenics, FO advised him that the membership and subscription list had grown from 200 to 600 in the past three years; that the Society had not approached self-support as rapidly as we had hoped when the original Draper grant was made; on the other hand, that FO had contributed more than twice as much as the contribution he had originally indicated to Draper he would make. FO then asked whether Draper would be willing to renew the Pioneer Fund grant for another five years.

Draper said that if the Eugenic Society would take a strong public position along the lines of his thinking, he would not only renew the grant but would be willing to guarantee full support of the Society over at least a five year period. But if they did not want to take a strong position along the lines of his ideas, he would not make any more contributions.

He outlined his ideas to include measures for establishing racial homogeneity in the United States and other proposals which had, at present, no basis in scientific findings. FO told him that, under these circumstances, the Society would have to look elsewhere for its funds.

Osborn's resignation letter:

Frederick Osborn Resigns from Pioneer
April 28, 1958

Mr. Wickliffe P. Draper
322 East 57th Street
New York, N.Y.

Dear Wick:

I have today sent my resignation from the Pioneer Fund to Mr. Guild as per copy attached. With this I am sending you my very warm thanks for an association that has meant a lot to me over the years. Also I am sending my warm good wishes for any new venture you may engage in.

We both feel deeply the need for improving the genetic potential of our people. We differ only as to means. Which may be most successful is a matter of judgement and may indeed depend a great deal on time and circumstance. My own view is a cautious and conservative development based on the gradual advance of science. It may not be the best but it is the only to which I am entirely committed and at my age I had better stick to it.

Good luck and warm good wishes.

Mostly sincerely,

Frederick Osborn

"Frederick Osborn on Wickliffe Draper" Memo, AND "Osborn's resignation letter.