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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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Popularizing the Work at Ellis Island

Popularizing the Work at Ellis Island

(p.142) 7 Popularizing the Work at Ellis Island
Howard Andrew Knox

Richardson John T. E.

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the performance tests developed by Howard Andrew Knox and his colleagues and administered to mentally deficient emigrants at Ellis Island in New York, and how they brought such tests to the attention of a much wider audience. Prodded by the office of the surgeon general, Knox and his colleagues began to popularize their work through articles in newspapers and magazines, presentations at conferences and to local medical associations, and through a manual for the mental examination of emigrants. In one event where he was speaker, Knox described the procedures being used at Ellis Island and emphasized the need for the physicians to be absolutely certain in their diagnoses of mental deficiency. In May 1914, he submitted a paper for presentation at the second annual meeting of the Eugenics Research Association. He also wrote a paper entitled “A Broader View of Mental Deficiency in Aliens,” published in the New York Medical Journal in October 1915, while he was temporarily detailed to work as an assistant physician at the Psychiatric Institute of the New York State Hospitals.

Keywords:   performance tests, Howard Andrew Knox, emigrants, Ellis Island, manual, physicians, mental deficiency, Eugenics Research Association, New York State Hospitals

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