Wickliffe Preston Draper
including several versions on his life here, beginning with a favorable one from his own organization, the
Pioneer Fund., and then moving on down to the less favorable ones.
Five distinguished Americans incorporated The Pioneer Fund in New York City on March 11, 1937.
Wickliffe Preston Draper (1891-1972), Pioneer's main benefactor, served on its five-person Board of
Directors from 1937 until 1972. Draper was born in 1891 to a distinguished New England family, distant kin
to three American presidents. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1913.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Draper enlisted as a lieutenant in the British Army and saw action on
the western front and then in Greece. Returning to the western front, he fought at Messines and Ypres, where
he was seriously wounded, and was later awarded the British Star Medal and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Draper transferred to the U.S. Army. In 1919, he was discharged with
the rank of major. Promoted to Colonel in the Cavalry Reserve, a title by which many people addressed him,
he continued to take officers' courses until the outbreak of World War II.
When Draper's father died in 1923, he inherited the family's wealth earned from a textile machine
manufacturing company. Dedicating his life to intellectual pursuits and philanthropy, as well as to
adventuring, Draper studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of London, and genetics with
private tutors. In 1927, he joined the French Mission led by Captain Augiéras to the southern Sahara and
helped discover the remains of "Asselar Man," some 400 kilometers north of Timbuktu. For this, the French
Societé de Geographie awarded him their 1928 Gold Medal, and in Britain he was elected a Fellow of the
Royal Geographical Society.
When the United States entered World War II, Draper, now 51 years old, returned to active service. Assigned
to military intelligence, he joined British headquarters in India. Later, he was made responsible for internal
security for the Alcan (Alaska-Canadian) Highway.
By nature introverted, shy, and modest, Draper refused honorary doctorates or having university buildings
named in his honor. The only distinctions he accepted were for his role in the discovery of Asselar Man and
his military decorations. Draper insisted that his role as benefactor to many charitable causes (including
military history, archaeology, conservation, and population problems) remain anonymous. He never married
and when he died in 1972, he left a significant portion of his assets to the Pioneer Fund to continue its
scientific philanthropy. http://www.pioneerfund.org/Founders.html
Wickliffe Preston Draper (sometimes spelled "Wycliffe" in publications) (August 9, 1891-1972) American
eugenicist and a controversial philanthropist. He was the principal benefactor of the Pioneer Fund, which
aims to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences (notably those related to race and
intelligence), and was a benefactor to many charitable causes, including military history, archaeology,
conservation, and population problems.
Born in Hopedale, Massachusetts, he was the son of a wealthy textile machinery manufacturer (Draper
looms) and the descendant of a long line of prominent Americans. Wickliffe Draper graduated summa cum
laude from Harvard in 1913. When the United States was slow to enter World War I, he enlisted in the British
Army (when the U.S. eventually declared war, he transferred to the U.S. Army).
In 1927, he joined the French Mission led by Captain Augiéras to the southern Sahara and helped discover
the remains of "Asselar Man" some 400 kilometers north of Timbuktu. Asselar Man is an extinct human
believed to belong to the Holocene or Recent Epoch. Some scholars consider it the oldest known skeleton of
an African black. For this, the French Societé de Geographie awarded him their 1928 Gold Medal, and in
Britain he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. After the war, he travelled and went on
numerous safaris (his large New York City apartment was reportedly filled with mounted trophies).
During this time, Draper became interested in the field of eugenics. Eugenics had been a popular,
progressive movement in the United States during the first three decades of the 20th century, but by the early
1930s popular interest had begun to fade, as the underlying science came under question and the use of
coercive methods became less palatable. Groups like the American Eugenics Society (AES) faced declining
membership and dwindling treasuries. Draper helped ease the funding shortfall, making a special gift to the
AES of several thousand dollars to support the society prior to 1932.
In August 1935, Draper traveled to Berlin to attend the International Congress for the Scientific Investigation
of Population Problems. Presiding over the conference was Wilhelm Frick, the Reichminister of the Interior.
(Frick was hanged in 1946 for his crimes against humanity.) At the conference, Draper's travel companion Dr.
Clarence Campbell delivered an oration that concluded with the words: "The difference between the Jew and
the Aryan is as unsurmountable [sic] as that between black and white...Germany has set a pattern which
other nations must follow... To that great leader, Adolf Hitler!" Three years later, when Draper paid to print and
disseminate a book titled White America, a personal copy was delivered to Reichminister Frick.
In 1937, Draper founded the Pioneer Fund, a foundation intended to give scholarships to descendants of
White colonial-era families, and to support research into "race betterment" through eugenics. The
scholarships were never given, but the first project of the Fund was to distribute two documentary films from
Nazi Germany depicting their claimed success with eugenics (though years before the Holocaust and its
eventual public disclosure, Germany's eugenic policies were still very controversial for their far-reaching
scope and often coercive public policies). The Pioneer Fund was headed by the controversial eugenicist
Harry H. Laughlin, known especially for his role in the establishment of restrictive immigration laws and
paving the way for national programs of compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded.
Draper volunteered for service again in World War II, and the fifty-year old man was assigned a post with
British military intelligence in India. Draper returned to active philanthropy after the war and the Pioneer Fund
supported the work of a number of notable (and controversial) researchers of race and intelligence, including
William Shockley, Arthur Jensen, J. Philippe Rushton, and Roger Pearson. Though he never served as its
president, Draper stayed on its board until his death and left his estate to the Fund, having never married.
(Subsequent Fund boards have continued Draper's support for researchers studying race and intelligence).
He also donated considerable funds to right-wing political organizations and candidates.
In addition to the Pioneer Fund, Draper also gave money directly to support causes that he favored. During
the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s Draper secretly sent $215,000 to the Mississippi State Sovereignty
Commission in 1963 in order to support racial segregation. The gifts came to light in the 1990s, when the
commission records were made public.
Throughout his life, Draper maintained a very low profile, as did the Pioneer Fund. When he died in 1972
from prostate cancer, he left $1.4 million to the Pioneer Fund. Since his death, Draper and the Fund have
been heavily criticized for funding race and intelligence research, which some critics view as scientific racism.
His work has become more controversial since the publication of The Bell Curve, because the Pioneer Fund
supported much of the research used in the book. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickliffe_Draper
Wickliffe Preston Draper, the son of George A. Draper, a wealthy textile machinery manufacturer, was born in
Hopedale on 9th August, 1891. Draper graduated from Harvard University in 1913.
On the outbreak of the First World War Draper joined the British Army. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant he
took part in the battles of Neuve-Chapelle, Messines Ridge, Somme and Ypres, where he was seriously
wounded. When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Draper transferred to the U.S. Army. He
was injured on the Western Front and invalided home to Hopedale, where he gave a talk at the Draper
Memorial Church. According to the Milford Daily News (5th December, 1917) Draper “emphasized the prime
necessity of absolute discipline in the army, as a requisite of victory, the sort of discipline that keeps the men
at the guns, even though it means almost sure death to remain.”
Wickliffe Draper spent the next year as an artillery instructor with the U.S. Army at Forts Sill. In 1919 he left the
army with the rank of major. Later he was eventually promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Cavalry Reserve.
When his father, George A. Draper, died in 1923, he inherited the family’s wealth. Draper moved to England
where he studied archaeology and anthropology at the University of London. In 1927 Draper funded the team
that discovered Asselar Man, the oldest known skeleton from Africa. The following year his achievements
were acknowledged in Britain by being elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Draper took a keen interest in eugenics. A very wealthy man, Draper made considerable donations to the
American Eugenics Society (AES). In August 1935, Draper traveled to Berlin to attend the International
Congress for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems hosted by Nazi Germany and chaired by
Wilhelm Frick, the German Minister of the Interior.
In 1937, Draper founded the Pioneer Fund "to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences."
However, Draper told a geneticist that he "wished to prove simply that Negroes were inferior." The Pioneer
Fund was headed by the eugenicist, Harry H. Laughlin, an advocate for restrictive immigration laws and
national programs of compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded. He was also the
director of the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) and was among the most active individuals in influencing
American eugenics policy, especially compulsory sterilization legislation.
Draper and Laughlin proposed a research agenda to assist in the enforcement of Southern "race integrity
laws" by developing techniques for identifying the "pass-for-white" person who might "successfully hide all of
his black blood". Laughlin was also highly critical of Jews who he described as "slow to assimilate" and
praised the Nuremberg Laws, arguing that the United States and the Third Reich shared "a common
understanding of ... the practical application" of eugenic principles to "racial endowments and... racial health."
The Pioneer Fund distributed two films from Nazi Germany depicting the eugenic programs in that country.
Draper also developed a close friendship with Earnest Sevier Cox, who argued that the only permanent
solution to America's racial problems was complete and total separation of black and white. Cox also
advocated the resettlement of African Americans to Liberia. In 1938 Draper published Cox's book, White
America. A personal copy was sent by Draper to Wilhelm Frick.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Draper moved to London where he joined British military
intelligence and was later transferred to the British headquarters in India.
After the war, he returned to eugenicist and segregationist activism. Draper was outraged by the Supreme
Court's 1954 decision, Brown v. Board of Education. It later emerged that Draper secretly sent $255,000 to the
Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission to support racial segregation and anti-civil rights violence and
John Bevilaqua has argued that Draper might have been involved with James Angleton, Charles Willoughby,
Gerald L. K. Smith, Ray S. Cline, Robert J. Morris and Anastase Vonsiatsky in the assassination of John F.
Draper also donated considerable funds to right-wing political organizations such as the World Anti-
Communist League (WACL). Established in 1966 by the intelligence organizations of Taiwan and South
Korea to provide anti-communist propaganda. Fascists played an important role in the WACL and at least
three European chapters of the organization were controlled by former SS officers from Nazi Germany.
Members included John K. Singlaub and Ray S. Cline.
Wickliffe Draper died from prostate cancer in 1972. He left $1.4 million to the Pioneer Fund.
It appears that Wickliffe wasn't living in Hopedale by the 1920s, although he was listed as living at 66 Adin
Street in the twenties and up through 1934 in the town directories. He gave his occupation as statistician. In
1935 through 1937, he was still in the books, on Adin Street, but no number was given. He didn't appear after
1937. In the 1936 book, B.H. Bristow Draper, Jr. was at 66 Adin Street. Evidently what happened was that
Wickliffe's parent's house had been razed and that. Bristow, Jr, generally known as Ben, built the house that
is still on that site. Ben and family had been living at 170 Dutcher Street prior to their move to Adin Street. In
the 2011 list of residents, Salvatore Tinio is at 66 Adin and Ian and Andrea MacDonald are at 170 Dutcher.
Wickliffe Draper by Aviva Chomsky.
A biography of Draper on the Constantine Report site.
A newspaper account of a 1917 talk by Draper about his World War I service in the British Army.
Speculation on Draper as the possible anonymous donor of the Draper Gym.
Toward A Racial Abyss by Michael Kenny.
An article on Draper on the Spartacus Educational site.
JFK - The Final Solution by John Bevilaqua Wickliffe Draper and the Kennedy assassination.
A web search for Wickliffe Draper will provide you with much more to read.
at the Community House. Eventually they started to deteriorate so they're no longer there.
This Campfire Girls picture from the fifties is the only one I've seen that shows one of them.
The picture on the left is of Wickliffe's father, George Albert Draper.
Back row - Barbara Sardell, Beverly Boucher, Ruth Bassett, Sally Ward, next (?), Marcia
Dee (?), next(?), Sandra Heron, Shirley Johnson, Leslie Spencer
This picture was taken at a Women's Club event in the early 1950s.
Wyckliffe. Thanks to Hopedale Town Clerk Lisa Pedroli for finding the book in the
town records with births for 1891. As you can see, his name was given at that time
as Wickliffe Preston Draper.