American Breeders Association
The American Breeders Association, founded in 1903, was the first scientific organization in the U.S. to recognize the importance of Mendel’s Laws and to support eugenic research. At the first annual meeting in St Louis, University of Missouri Professor of Agriculture Fredrick B. Mumford became one of the Association’s first officers.
The fifth annual meeting of the American Breeders Association was held during Farmers’ Week at the University of Missouri in January of 1909. At that meeting dues were increased to begin publication of the American Breeders Magazine and Charles Davenport became secretary of the Association’s animal section. Harry Laughlin was also in attendance, providing his first opportunity to meet Davenport in person. This encounter resulted in the lifelong association of the two men.
By 1914, the organization had become the American Genetic Association and the magazine was renamed The Journal of Heredity. On display here are the first issues of both publications. Included among the Association’s Committees on Breeding—Professor Mumford served as chairman of the Breeding Horse Hybrids Committee—was one on eugenics. In the first issue published under the new name, Alexander Graham Bell, who would serve as the honorary president for the 2nd International Eugenics Congress in 1921, contributed an article entitled “How to Improve the Race.”