Madison Grant

Madison Grant

Overview
Madison Grant was an American lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

, historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and physical anthropologist, known primarily for his work as a eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 and conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

. As a eugenicist, Grant was responsible for one of the most famous works of scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

, and played an active role in crafting strong immigration restriction
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 and anti-miscegenation laws
Anti-miscegenation laws
Anti-miscegenation laws, also known as miscegenation laws, were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races...

 in the United States.

As a conservationist, Grant was credited with the saving of many different species of animals, founding many different environmental
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 and philanthropic organizations and developing much of the discipline of wildlife management.

Grant was born in New York City, New York to Gabriel Grant, a well-known physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 surgeon
Surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

, and Caroline Manice.
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Encyclopedia
Madison Grant was an American lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

, historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and physical anthropologist, known primarily for his work as a eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 and conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

. As a eugenicist, Grant was responsible for one of the most famous works of scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

, and played an active role in crafting strong immigration restriction
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 and anti-miscegenation laws
Anti-miscegenation laws
Anti-miscegenation laws, also known as miscegenation laws, were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races...

 in the United States.

As a conservationist, Grant was credited with the saving of many different species of animals, founding many different environmental
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 and philanthropic organizations and developing much of the discipline of wildlife management.

Early life


Grant was born in New York City, New York to Gabriel Grant, a well-known physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 and American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 surgeon
Surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

, and Caroline Manice. He was descended from Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 who came to the colonies from Scotland after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Forty-Five uprising
Jacobite Rising of 1745
The Jacobite rising of 1745, often referred to as "The 'Forty-Five," was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession when most of the British Army was on the European continent...

. Grant was a lifelong resident of New York City.

As a child he attended private schools and traveled Europe and the Middle East with his father. He attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, graduating early and with honors in 1887. He received a law degree from Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

, and practiced law after graduation; however, his interests were primarily those of a naturalist. He never married and he had no children. He first achieved a political reputation when he and his brother, De Forest Grant, took part in the electoral campaign of New York mayor William Lafayette Strong in 1894.

Nordic theory



Grant is most famously the author of the popular book The Passing of the Great Race
The Passing of the Great Race
The Passing of The Great Race; or, The racial basis of European history was an influential book of scientific racism written by the American eugenicist, lawyer, and amateur anthropologist Madison Grant in 1916. The book was largely ignored when it first appeared but went through several revisions...

 in 1916, an elaborate work of racial hygiene
Racial hygiene
Racial hygiene was a set of early twentieth century state sanctioned policies by which certain groups of individuals were allowed to procreate and others not, with the expressed purpose of promoting certain characteristics deemed to be particularly desirable...

 detailing the "racial history" of Europe. Coming out of Grant's concerns with the changing "stock" of American immigration of the early 20th century (characterized by increased numbers of immigrants from Southern
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, as opposed to Western
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

), Passing of the Great Race was a "racial" interpretation of contemporary anthropology and history, stating race as the basic motor of civilization.

Similar ideas were proposed by Gustav Kossinna in Germany. Grant promoted the idea of the "Nordic race"—a loosely defined biological-cultural grouping rooted in Scandinavia—as the key social group responsible for human development; thus the subtitle of the book was The racial basis of European history. As an avid eugenicist, Grant further advocated the separation, quarantine, and eventual collapse of "undesirable" traits and "worthless race types" from the human gene pool and the promotion, spread, and eventual restoration of desirable traits and "worthwhile race types" conducive to Nordic society:

In the book, Grant recommends segregating
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 "unfavorable" races in ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

s by installing civil organizations through the public health system to establish quasi-dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

s in their particular fields. He states the expansion of non-Nordic race types in the Nordic system of freedom would actually mean a slavery to desires, passions, and base behaviors.

In turn, this corruption of society would lead to the subjection of the Nordic community to "inferior" races who would in turn long to be dominated and instructed by "superior" ones utilizing authoritarian powers. The result would be the submergence of the indigenous Nordic races under a corrupt and enfeebled system dominated by inferior races and both in turn would be subjected by a new ruling race class.

Nordic theory, in Grant's formulation, was similar to many 19th century racial philosophies which divided the human species into primarily three distinct races: Caucasoids (based in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

), Negroids
Negroid race
Negroid is a term sometimes used by forensic anthropologists and physical anthropologists to refer to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as high Melanin levels and skeletal features associated with ancestry from Sub-saharan Africa.It was introduced by early Racial science used...

 (based in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

), and Mongoloids
Mongoloid race
Mongoloid is a term sometimes used by forensic anthropologists and physical anthropologists to refer to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as epicanthic fold and shovel-shaped incisors and other physical traits common in East Asia, the Americas and the Arctic...

 (based in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

). Nordic theory, however, further subdivided Caucasoids into three groups: Nordics (who inhabited Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 and other parts of the continent), Alpines
Alpine race
The Alpine race is an historical racial classification or sub-race of humans, considered a branch of the Caucasian race. The term is not commonly used today, but was popular in the early 20th century.-History:...

 (whose territory included central Europe and parts of Asia), and Mediterraneans
Mediterranean race
The Mediterranean race was one of the three sub-categories into which the Caucasian race and the people of Europe were divided by anthropologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, following the publication of William Z. Ripley's book The Races of Europe...

 (who inhabited Southern Europe, North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, and the Middle East).

In Grant's view, Nordics probably evolved in a climate which "must have been such as to impose a rigid elimination of defectives through the agency of hard winters and the necessity of industry and foresight in providing the year's food, clothing, and shelter during the short summer. Such demands on energy, if long continued, would produce a strong, virile, and self-contained race which would inevitably overwhelm in battle nations whose weaker elements had not been purged by the conditions of an equally severe environment." The "Proto-Nordic" human, Grant reasoned, probably evolved in eastern Germany, Poland and Russia, before migrating northward to Scandinavia.

The Nordic, in his theory, was Homo europaeus, the white man par excellence. "It is everywhere characterized by certain unique specializations, namely, wavy brown or blond hair and blue, gray or light brown eyes, fair skin, high, narrow and straight nose, which are associated with great stature, and a long skull, as well as with abundant head and body hair." Grant categorized the Alpines as being the lowest of the three European races, with the Nordics as the pinnacle of civilization.
Grant while aware of the "Nordic Migration Theory" into the Mediterranean appears to reject this theory as an explanation for the high civilization features of the Greco-Roman world.
Grant also considered North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 as part of Mediterranean Europe :
Yet, while Grant recognized Mediterraneans to have abilities in art, as quoted above, later in the text he pondered if the Mediterranean achievements in civilization were due to Nordic's original ideals and structure:
According to Grant, Nordics were in a dire state in the modern world, where due to their abandonment of cultural values rooted in religious or superstitious proto-racialism, they were close to committing "race suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

" by being miscegenated with and out-bred by more inferior stock who were taking advantage of the transition.

The book was immensely popular and went through multiple printings in the United States, and was translated into a number of other languages, notably German in 1925. By 1937 the book had sold 16,000 copies in the United States alone. Nordic theory was strongly embraced by the racial hygiene movement in Germany in the early 1920s and 1930s; however, they typically used the term "Aryan
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

" instead of "Nordic", though the principal Nazi ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

, preferred "Aryo-Nordic" or "Nordic-Atlantean". Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

 described The Passing of the Great Race as "The most influential tract of American scientific racism." Grant's work was embraced by proponents of the National Socialist movement in Germany; Passing was the first non-German book ordered to be reprinted by the Nazis when they took power, and Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 wrote to Grant that, "The book is my Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

."

Grant's work, while a subject of popular discussion in the United States from the 1910s through the 1930s, was often attacked by scientists. who believed it to be little more than racism by an amateur in the fields of history and anthropology. It is considered one of the most influential and vociferous works of scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

 and eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 to come out of the United States. One of his long-time opponents was the anthropologist Franz Boas
Franz Boas
Franz Boas was a German-American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology" and "the Father of Modern Anthropology." Like many such pioneers, he trained in other disciplines; he received his doctorate in physics, and did...

. Grant dislked Boas and for several years tried to get him fired from his position at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. Boas and Grant were involved in a bitter struggle for control over the discipline of anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 in the United States while they both served (along with others) on the National Research Council
United States National Research Council
The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

 Committee on Anthropology after the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Grant represented the "hereditarian
Hereditarianism
Hereditarianism is the doctrine or school of thought that heredity plays a significant role in determining human nature and character traits, such as intelligence and personality. Hereditarians believe in the power of genetics to explain human character traits and solve human social and political...

" branch of physical anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

 at the time, despite his relatively amateur status, and was staunchly opposed to and by Boas himself (and the latter's students), who advocated cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

. Boas and his students eventually wrested control of the American Anthropological Association
American Anthropological Association
The American Anthropological Association is a professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. With 11,000 members, the Arlington, Virginia based association includes archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic...

 from Grant and his supporters and used as a flagship organization for his brand of anthropology. In response Grant founded the Galton Society with American eugenicist and biologist Charles B. Davenport in 1918 as an alternative to Boas.

Immigration restriction


Grant advocated restricted immigration to the United States through limiting immigration from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, as well as the complete end of immigration from East Asia. He also advocated efforts to purify the American population through selective breeding. He served as the vice president of the Immigration Restriction League
Immigration Restriction League
The Immigration Restriction League, was founded in 1894 by people who opposed the influx of "undesirable immigrants" that were coming from southern and eastern Europe. They felt that these immigrants were threatening what they saw as the American way of life and the high wage scale...

 from 1922 to his death. Acting as an expert on world racial data, Grant also provided statistics for the Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 to set the quotas on immigrants from certain European countries. Even after passing the statute, Grant continued to be irked that even a smattering of non-Nordics were allowed to immigrate to the country each year. He also assisted in the passing and prosecution of several anti-miscegenation laws, notably the Racial Integrity Act of 1924
Racial Integrity Act of 1924
On March 20, 1924 the Virginia General Assembly passed two laws that had arisen out of contemporary concerns about eugenics and race: SB 219, entitled "The Racial Integrity Act" and SB 281, "An ACT to provide for the sexual sterilization of inmates of State institutions in certain cases",...

 in the state of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, where he sought to codify his particular version of the "one-drop rule
One-drop rule
The one-drop rule is a historical colloquial term in the United States for the social classification as black of individuals with any African ancestry; meaning any person with "one drop of black blood" was considered black...

" into law.

Though Grant was extremely influential in legislating his view of racial theory, he began to fall out of favor in the United States in the 1930s. The declining interest in his work has been attributed both to the effects of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, which resulted in a general backlash against Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism is a term commonly used for theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, seeking to apply the principles of Darwinian evolution to sociology and politics...

 and related philosophies, as well as the changing dynamics of racial issues in the United States during the interwar period. Rather than subdivide Europe into separate racial groups, the bi-racial (black vs. white) theory of Grant's protege Lothrop Stoddard
Lothrop Stoddard
Theodore Lothrop Stoddard was an American historian, journalist, racial anthropologist, eugenicist, political theorist and anti-immigration advocate who wrote a number of books which are cited by historians as prominent examples of early 20th-century scientific racism.- Biography :Stoddard was...

 became more dominant in the aftermath of the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

 of African-Americans from Southern States to Northern and Western ones (Guterl 2001). The rise of the Nazis in Germany also contributed to Grant's intellectual falling out of favor, as the similarity of their overtly racist theories to Grant's would become a liability even before they were officially an enemy at war against the United States.

Conservation efforts


Grant was a close friend of several U.S. presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

, and also was an avid conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

. He is credited with saving many natural species from extinction, and co-founded the Save-the-Redwoods League
Save-the-Redwoods League
The Save the Redwoods League is an organization dedicated to the protection of the remaining Coast Redwood trees in the state of California. It was founded in 1918 by Frederick Russell Burnham, Madison Grant, John C. Merriam, and Henry Fairfield Osborn....

 with Frederick Russell Burnham
Frederick Russell Burnham
Frederick Russell Burnham, DSO was an American scout and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in colonial Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting Movement.Burnham...

, John C. Merriam
John C. Merriam
John Campbell Merriam was an American paleontologist. The first vertebrate paleontologist on the West Coast of the United States, he is best known for his taxonomy of vertebrate fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, particularly with the genus Smilodon, more commonly known as the...

, and Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn
Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

 in 1918. He is also credited with helping develop the first deer hunting laws in New York state, legislation which spread to other states as well over time.

He was also the creator of wildlife management
Wildlife management
Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control...

, helped to found the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

, build the Bronx River Parkway
Bronx River Parkway
The Bronx River Parkway is a long parkway in downstate New York. It is named for the nearby Bronx River, which it parallels. The southern terminus of the parkway is at Story Avenue near Bruckner Expressway in the Bronx neighborhood of Soundview...

, save the American bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

 as an organizer of the American Bison Society
American Bison Society
The American Bison Society was founded in 1905 by pioneering conservationists and sportsmen including William T. Hornaday and Theodore Roosevelt to help save the bison from extinction and raise public awareness about the species....

, and helped to create Glacier National Park and Denali National Park. In 1906, as Secretary of the New York Zoological Society, he lobbied to put Ota Benga
Ota Benga
Ota Benga was a Congolese Mbuti pygmy known for being featured in a controversial human zoo exhibit at New York City's Bronx Zoo in 1906. Benga came to the United States through the action of businessman and missionary Samuel Phillips Verner...

, a Congolese
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 pygmy
Pygmy
Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups worldwide whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as any group whose adult men grow to less than 150 cm in average height. A member of a slightly taller group is termed "pygmoid." The best known pygmies are the Aka,...

, on display alongside apes at the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is located in the Bronx borough of New York City, within Bronx Park. It is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising of park lands and naturalistic habitats, through which the Bronx River flows....

.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, he served on the boards of many eugenic and philanthropic societies, including the board of trustees at the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

, a director of the American Eugenics Society
American Eugenics Society
The American Eugenics Society was a society established in 1922 to promote eugenics in the United States.It was the result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics . The founders included Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Henry Crampton...

, vice president of the Immigration Restriction League
Immigration Restriction League
The Immigration Restriction League, was founded in 1894 by people who opposed the influx of "undesirable immigrants" that were coming from southern and eastern Europe. They felt that these immigrants were threatening what they saw as the American way of life and the high wage scale...

, a founding member of the Galton Society, and one of the eight members of the International Committee of Eugenics. He was awarded the gold medal of the Society of Arts and Sciences in 1929. In 1931, the world's largest tree (in Dyerville, California) was dedicated to Grant, Merriam, and Osborn by the California State Board of Parks in recognition for their environmental efforts. A species of caribou was named after Grant as well (Rangifer tarandus granti, also known as Grant's Caribou). He was a member of the Boone and Crockett Club
Boone and Crockett Club
The Boone and Crockett Club conservationist organization, founded in the United States in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt. The club was named in honor of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, whom the club's founders viewed as ethical hunters and honest men who loved the outdoors and earthly pursuits...

 (a big game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

 hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 organization) since 1893, where he was friends with president Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

. He was head of the New York Zoological Society from 1925 until his death.

Historian Jonathan Spiro has argued that Grant's interests in conservationism and eugenics were not unrelated: both are hallmarks of the early 20th-century Progressive
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

 movement, and both assume the need for various types of stewardship over their charges. In Grant's mind, natural resources needed to be conserved for the Nordic Race, to the exclusion of other races. Grant viewed the Nordic race lovingly as he did any of his endangered species, and considered the modern industrial society as infringing just as much on its existence as it did on the redwoods. Like many eugenicists, Grant saw modern civilization as a violation of "survival of the fittest", whether it manifested itself in the over-logging of the forests, or the survival of the poor via welfare or charity.

Legacy


Grant became a part of popular culture in 1920s America, especially in New York. Grant's conservationism and fascination with zoological natural history made him very influential among the New York elite who agreed with his cause, most notably Theodore Roosevelt. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

 featured a reference to Grant in The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in1925, it is set on Long Island's North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922....

. Tom Buchanan, the husband of Daisy Buchanan, the novel's principal woman character, was reading a book called The Rise of the Colored Empires by "this man Goddard", a combination of Passing of the Great Race (Grant) and his colleague Lothrop Stoddard
Lothrop Stoddard
Theodore Lothrop Stoddard was an American historian, journalist, racial anthropologist, eugenicist, political theorist and anti-immigration advocate who wrote a number of books which are cited by historians as prominent examples of early 20th-century scientific racism.- Biography :Stoddard was...

's The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy (Stoddard; Grant wrote the introduction to Stoddard's book). "Everybody ought to read it", the character explained, "The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." However, throughout the book Tom espouses Goddard's racial theories confusedly; the narrator calls Tom's focus on Goddard's ideas "pathetic."

Grant left no offspring when he died in 1937 of nephritis
Nephritis
Nephritis is inflammation of the nephrons in the kidneys. The word "nephritis" was imported from Latin, which took it from Greek: νεφρίτιδα. The word comes from the Greek νεφρός - nephro- meaning "of the kidney" and -itis meaning "inflammation"....

. Several hundred people attended Grant's funeral, and he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York
Tarrytown, New York
Tarrytown is a village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about north of midtown Manhattan in New York City, and is served by a stop on the Metro-North Hudson Line...

. He left a bequest of $25,000 to the New York Zoological Society to create "The Grant Endowment Fund for the Protection of Wild Life", left $5,000 to the American Museum of Natural History, and left another $5,000 to the Boone and Crockett Club.

Passing of the Great Race was said to be Adolf Hitler's favorite book, and Hitler even wrote a 'fan letter' to Grant applauding it, stating that the book was "his Bible". At the postwar Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

, Grant's Passing of the Great Race was introduced into evidence by the defense of Karl Brandt, Hitler's personal physician and head of the Nazi euthanasia program, in order to justify the population policies
Racial policy of Nazi Germany
The racial policy of Nazi Germany was a set of policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany, asserting the superiority of the "Aryan race", and based on a specific racist doctrine which claimed scientific legitimacy...

 of the Third Reich or at least indicate that they were not ideologically unique to Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.

Grant's works of "scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

" have been cited to demonstrate that many of the genocidal and eugenic ideas associated with the Third Reich did not arise specifically in Germany, and in fact that many of them had origins in other countries including the United States. As such, because of Grant's well-connectedness and influential friends, he is often used to contradict the idea that the U.S. lacked its own history of racism, eugenics, and Fascist ideals. Because of the strong associations his eugenics work had with the policies of Nazi Germany, his work as a conservationist has been somewhat ignored and obscured, as many organizations with which he was once associated do not generally want to overstress their connections with him.

Works

  • Grant, Madison. "The vanishing moose, and their extermination in the Adirondacks," Century Magazine 47(1894): 345-356.
  • ________. The caribou. New York, Office of the New York Zoological Society, 1902.
  • ________. "Moose." Report of the Forest, Fish, Game Commission, State of New York (1903): 225-238.
  • ________. The Rocky Mountain goat. New York, Office of the New York Zoological Society, 1905.
  • ________. "Condition of wild life in Alaska," Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1909 (Washington, 1910): 521-529.
  • ________. The passing of the great race; or, The racial basis of European history
    The Passing of the Great Race
    The Passing of The Great Race; or, The racial basis of European history was an influential book of scientific racism written by the American eugenicist, lawyer, and amateur anthropologist Madison Grant in 1916. The book was largely ignored when it first appeared but went through several revisions...

    . New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916.
  • ________. The passing of the great race, or, The racial basis of European history. New edn., rev. and amplified, with a new preface by Henry Fairfield Osborn
    Henry Fairfield Osborn
    Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. ForMemRS was an American geologist, paleontologist, and eugenicist.-Early life and career:...

    . New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1918.
  • ________. Saving the redwoods; an account of the movement during 1919 to preserve the redwoods of California. New York, Zoological Society, 1919.
  • ________. The passing of the great race, or, The racial basis of European history. rev. ed. with a documentary supplement, with prefaces by Henry Fairfield Osborn. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921.
  • ________. Der Untergang der grossen Rasse, die Rassen als Grundlage der Geschichte Europas. German translation of The passing of the Great Race by Rudolf Polland. München, J. F. Lehmann, 1925.
  • ________, ed., with Charles Stewart Davidson. The founders of the republic on immigration, naturalization and aliens, collected for and edited by Madison Grant and Charles Stewart Davidson. New York, C. Scribner’s Sons, 1928.
  • ________, ed., with Charles Stewart Davidson/ The alien in our midst; or, "Selling our birthright for a mess of pottage"; the written views of a number of Americans (present and former) on immigration and its results. New York, The Galton Publishing co., 1930.
  • ________. The conquest of a continent; or, The expansion of races in America. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933.

External links