One of the apparently insolvable problems of the South for generations past has been the "poor white." Historians have asserted that he was of the purest Anglo-Saxon blood—the same stock which rose to eminence in many a Southern and New England family of long lineage and high social standing. Yet his uselessness as a worker and his gradual, but apparently hopeless, degeneration have been generally admitted, though unexplained. In 1902 Dr. Charles W. Stiles, Chief of the Division of Zoology in the Hygienic Laboratory, announced that the poor white was not a wilful degenerate, but a helpless invalid, and that the cause of his condition was the Uncinaria or hookworm, an intestinal parasite, probably brought from Africa by slaves many generations ago. Estimates made by Dr. Stiles showing the wide-spread distribution of the disease and the enormous number of its victims (at least two million), while received with incredulity at
THE ROCKEFELLER GIFT FOR THE EXTERMINATION OF THE HOOKWORM. JAMA. 1909;LIII(19):1568–1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550190044008
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