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Howard Andrew KnoxPioneer of Intelligence Testing at Ellis Island$
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John Richardson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231141680

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231141680.001.0001

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At Ellis Island

At Ellis Island

(p.69) 5 At Ellis Island
Howard Andrew Knox

Richardson John T. E.

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on Howard Andrew Knox’s first year at Ellis Island in New York and how the physicians there dealt with the increasing concern about mentally deficient emigrants. By 1910, there was widespread concern in the United States that the immigration authorities were failing to prevent mentally defective people from entering the country. To address this concern, Ellis Island’s immigration officials invited Edward Johnstone, the superintendent of the New Jersey Training School, and his director of research, Henry Herbert Goddard, to visit the immigration station and advise them on current practices. In April 1912, Knox was appointed to the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (renamed Public Health Service). He published an article in which he shared the views held by politicians, professionals, and the public about intelligence and mental deficiency. He would later devise a series of “performance tests” that could be administered to mentally deficient emigrants on the island.

Keywords:   physicians, Howard Andrew Knox, Ellis Island, emigrants, immigration, Edward Johnstone, Henry Herbert Goddard, intelligence, mental deficiency, performance tests

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