Forced sterilization, Paul Lombardo
Interviewee: Paul Lombardo. Emma and Carrie Buck were committed to the Virginia Colony because they were unmarried mothers and were considered morally delinquent. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Trial of Carrie Buck > Players > Emma Buck > Coming to the Colony)
The Virginia Colony was founded around 1912, and expanded in 1916 to take in people who were considered feebleminded. In 1920, Emma Buck, a middle-aged woman from Charlottesville, was brought here because she was suspected of having been a prostitute. In 1924 her daughter, Carrie Buck, was brought here, because she'd had a child but she wasn't married. She was thought to be morally delinquent in the language of the time. And she came here specifically as the subject of a test case, a legal trial that would be held near here in Amherst county.
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Paul Lombardo talks about although she tried several times, Carrie was never able to bring her mother Emma home from the Virginia Colony.
The day before the Virginia case, Arthur Estabrook photographed Carrie and Emma on a bench located at this spot in the Virginia Colony.
Paul Lombardo talks about the only photograph of Carrie Buck with her mother Emma, taken the day before she would stand trial before the collective onslaught of the American eugenics movement.
Paul Lombardo talks about Emma and Carrie Buck lived long lives and it is doubtful that either was mentally ill.
Paul Lombardo talks about Arthur Estabrook apparently tested Vivian's mental ability by attempting to catch her attention with a coin.
Paul Lombardo talks about Amherst County Courthouse was the first step of a legal case that would lead all the way to the Supreme Court.
Virginia Sterilization Act. Source: Paul Lombardo, University of Virginia.
A photo of Carrie and her mother Emma was taken the day before the Virginia trial.
Carrie and Emma Buck on the day before the Buck vs. Bell trial in 1924.
Lombardo discusses the emotions that Carrie Buck may have been feeling before the Buck vs. Bell trial.