The Training of the Human Plant

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Century Company, 1907 - Education - 97 pages
"In 1907, Burbank published an 'essay on childrearing,' called The Training of the Human Plant. In it, he advocated improved treatment of children and eugenic practices such as keeping the unfit and first cousins from marrying" -- Wikipedia, accessed 24 November 2010.

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Page 91 - Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay fields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets ; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.
Page 29 - Do not feed children on a maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them Nature. Let their souls drink in all that is pure and sweet. Rear them, if possible, amid pleasant surroundings. If they come into the world with souls groping in darkness, let them see and feel the light. Do not terrify them in early life with the fear of an after-world.
Page 23 - ... with his finger-tips. The thing is utterly impossible. YOU can never bring up a child to its best estate without love.
Page 19 - RIGHT here let me lay special stress upon the absurdity, not to call it by a harsher term, of running children through the same mill in a lot, with absolutely no real reference to their individuality. No two children are alike. You cannot expect them to develop alike. They are different in temperament, in tastes, in disposition, in capabilities...
Page 14 - All animal life is sensitive to environment, but of all living things the child is the most sensitive.
Page 33 - To develop indoors, under glass, a race of men and women of the type that I believe is coming out of all this marvelous mingling of races in the United States is immeasurably absurd. There must be sunlight, but even more is needed, fresh, pure air. The injury wrought to-day to the race by keeping too young children indoors at school is beyond the power of any one to estimate. The air they breathe even under the best sanitary regulations is far too impure for their lungs. Often it is positively poisonous...
Page 47 - There is not a single desirable attribute which, lacking in a plant, may not be bred into it. Choose what improvement you wish in a flower, a fruit, or a tree, and by crossing, selection, cultivation, and persistence you can fix this desirable trait irrevocably.
Page 12 - The best characteristics of the 11 • many peoples that make up this nation will show in the composite: the finished product will be the race of the future. In my work with plants and flowers I introduce color here, shape there, size or perfume, according to the product desired. In such processes the teachings of nature are followed. Its great forces only are employed. All that has been done for plants and flowers by crossing, nature has already accomplished for the American people.
Page 11 - ... race of plants; all the worst as well as all the best qualities of each are brought out in their fullest intensities, and right here is where selective environment counts.
Page 68 - Put a boy born of gentle white parents among Indians and he will grow up like an Indian. Let the child born of criminal parents have a setting of morality, integrity, and love, and the chances are that he will not grow into a criminal, but into an upright man.

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