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Keywords:

  • eugenics;
  • miscegenation

Abstract

Correspondence between Walter Ashby Plecker, Virginia State Registrar of Vital Statistics between 1912 and 1938, and Harry Hamilton Laughlin, Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor between 1910 and 1939, provides evidence of efforts to enforce the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924. After antimiscegenation policy is placed in a historical context, excerpts from the letters are offered to demonstrate the zeal with which one state official pursued this “eugenic” policy.