Madison Grant in Ellis Island Era Immigration
Madison Grant (1865-1937) was a prominent American eugenicist of the early twentieth century. Grant used his pseudoscientific theories to argue that immigration and inbreeding threatened to pollute America's strong "Nordic" racial heritage with "inferior stock" from Eastern and Southern Europe.
In 1916, Grant wrote The Passing of the Great Race, one of the most influential works of pseudoscientific racism ever published. In the book, Grant criticized "the pathetic and fatuous belief in the efficacy of American institutions and environment to revise or obliterate immemorial hereditary tendencies." He ominously warned that the "great race" of Anglo-Saxon Americans would soon be overrun by "the weak, the broken and the mentally crippled of all races" if the government failed to block Southern and Eastern European immigrants from settling in the country.1