Stimulate Rather Than Control Births, July 28, 1916


Letters to the Editor

Stimulate Rather Than Control Births

To the Editor: --

If there were ever a midsummer madness it is the exploitation today of the silly, stupid, wicked and most untimely agitation of Malthusian arguments.  Especially is it so in New England, if we believe at all in our own stock planted here in sturdy vigor and developed as we are taught to believe in many ways beside stimulating climatic conditions to higher powers.  The need is for resistance by every available influence to its infertility which has grown so alarming.  The race has leavened the Middle West, the Pacific coast, and more or less the "whole lump," but it is no time for the abdication or the suicide of this most valuable element in the Republic.  Every local genealogist knows that, among the finest strains, families which a few generations back were represented by half a dozen or more children now have a less number of descendants, all told, in the rising one -- including many a household where the parents count but a single offspring.  We welcomed the idea of assimilation and the "melting pot," but being swallowed is quite another matter! How the Hebrew who obeys the Law and the immigrant who obeys the rule of the Church to "increase and multiply" is cheerfully counting on the easy seizure of our birthright which will enable them to possess the land!

The [hygienist] and the sociologist are urging the tremendous importance of child life, money is poured out publicly and privately to conserve it and the statistician reckons its value in dollars and cents. The war is decimating some of the best peoples in the world, depleting a treasury the solvency of which means more than the safety of any hoards of gold and silver. The value of life must surely appreciate accordingly, so that as a [matter] of economics it should be quickened by every possible means. We should promote simpler living, fearlessness of pain, unselfishness, dutifulness -- the revival in these Tercentennial days of the austere virtues of the Fathers, conditions to stimulate, not to control birth of our children.  We ought to testify: "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them"; he who otherwise should be overwhelmed, not only by the obvious fear and shame in war-time to speak with his "enemies in the gate," but by the intrinsic reproach and shame to humanity, since humanity was created of barrenness.

Erving Winslow.

Item Relations


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>