Hopedale History
    December 1, 2011
    No. 193
    Wickliffe Draper



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    Wickliffe Preston Draper (the man with three last names as his biographer, William H. Tucker
    put it) was the son of George Albert and Jessie Preston Draper. His uncles included General
    William F. Draper and Governor Eben S. Draper. His mother’s family, the  Wickliffes and the
    Prestons, are said to have been the largest slave owners in Kentucky before the Civil War.
    Wickliffe enlisted in the British Army shortly after the outbreak of World War I, and transferred to
    the U.S. Army when the United States entered the conflict. After the war, he lived in New York
    City.

                                            Wickliffe Preston Draper

                                                            From Linked Labor Histories

                                                                      By Aviva Chomsky

    George (Draper) and his sons, William, who became president (of George Draper & Sons and
    several other Draper companies) after his father’s death in 1887, Eben Sumner, who took over
    from William and ran the company until he died in 1914, and George Albert, who took over until
    his own death in 1923, had little interest in Practical Christianity (the religion of the Hopedale
    Community). Nevertheless, they inherited their own form of utopian thinking, which shaped the
    way they ran and invested in their business and what was, essentially, their town, Hopedale. In
    George Albert’s son, Wickliffe Draper, born in 1891, utopianism emerged as obsession with
    eugenics.

    The Drapers were committed to a paternalistic view of social betterment and urban uplift, and
    they committed their company’s resources to their town. Hopedale was a company town, “not a
    tenement ridden slum associated with many of the era’s factories and sweatshops but a rural
    textile community totally under the paternalistic control of the Draper company, which offered job
    security, medical aid, and low rent in company houses for its employees in an effort to promote
    unity of interest between labor and capital…To preserve the town’s rural character, the Draper
    company prohibited fences, street signs, and mailboxes and created an extensive system of
    parks and gardens” and even a pond. The design of their worker duplexes received awards at
    international expositions from St. Louis to Milan.

    Wickliffe Draper inherited both his father’s fortune and his “ardent desire…to use his wealth for
    some loftier purpose.” He found his cause in eugenics, the pseudoscience of the era dedicated
    to proving the superiority of the white race and enforcing policies toward the Nordicization of the
    U.S. population, including the repatriation of blacks to Africa, selective sterilization, and
    immigration restrictions.

    Draper was not unique in his infatuation with racial thought and racial betterment. New
    England's cultural and intellectual elite and its institutions were permeated with these ideas in
    the early twentieth century. Harvard University, Wickliffe’s alma mater, was one of the centers of
    racist scholarship. Draper went beyond many of his contemporaries, however, in choosing
    racist research specifically as the beneficiary of his philanthropic largesse and in continuing to
    be faithful to his passion until his death in 1972, long after it had been marginalized from the
    academic mainstream.

    His interest in eugenics put Draper in close contact with men like Harry H. Laughlin and
    Charles Davenport of the Eugenics Record Office, which conducted the research that helped
    convince Congress to pass the 1924 immigration restrictions drastically limiting immigration
    from southern and eastern Europe. Draper served as vice president of the Immigration
    Restriction League, whose best known member was the racist researcher Madison Grant, an
    important influence on Adolph Hitler in later years.

    Draper’s financial backing of eugenics began in the mid-1920s with several small grants to
    Davenport and the Eugenics Research Association. In the 1930s he began to fund Earnest
    Sevier Cox, who was working assiduously to convince Congress to legislate the repatriation of
    blacks to Africa. In 1937 Draper founded the Pioneer Fund, appointing his old colleague, Harry
    Laughlin president, as a conduit for distributing his money to racist causes. While the fund was
    nominally governed by a board of directors, Draper “clearly exercised final authority on whether
    to fund a proposal because the money came out of his private coffers, and Pioneer had no other
    resources.

    Over the course of the twentieth century Pioneer became a key source of research to prove
    racial inequality, aimed at public policy to maintain racial segregation, and Draper’s money
    continued to be its bastion. Draper contributed to the movement against civil rights and racial
    integration in the 1950s and 1960s and kept alive the flames of neo-Nazism. According to his
    biographer, Draper’s fortune was “the most important single financial resource for the struggle
    to maintain American apartheid.” After Draper’s death, Pioneer continued the tradition that his
    private donations had established during his lifetime, subsidizing research, policy initiatives,
    and public relations campaigns by proponents of white racial superiority the likes of Wilmot
    Robertson (The Dispossessed Majority), William Shockley, and Arthur Jensen. After the
    immigration reform of 1965, Pioneer revived Draper’s earlier interest in decrying the malevolent
    influence of immigrants considered nonwhite on the country’s racial well-being. "The Draper
    Company: From Hopedale to Medellin and Back," in Linked Labor Histories, Aviva Chomsky,
    pp. 15-47. Copyright, 2008, Duke University Press. All rights reserved. Reprinted by
    permission of the publisher. http://www.dukeupress.edu.

    Review - Linked Labor Histories   

    The above section of Linked Labor Histories included a number of footnotes, but for this
    purpose, rather than include them all, I’ll just mention that most of them refer to The Funding of
    Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund, by William H. Tucker. Both books can
    be found online.

    It appears that Wickliffe wasn't living in Hopedale by the 1920s, although his name is on the
    street listing books  as living at 66 Adin Street in the twenties and up through 1934. 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. I think 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 1952, the Drapers
    moved to the Crossways at 105 Adin Street, which had been the home of his parents. His father
    had died in 1944, and his mother in 1949. In the 2011 list of residents, Salvatore Tinio is at 66
    Adin and Skip and Andrea MacDonald are at 170 Dutcher. 105 Adin Street had been for sale for
    several years, but is currently listed as off market.

                      
   More about Wickliffe Draper              Was Wickliffe the donor of the G A Draper Gym?   

                                  
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Wickliffe Preston Draper

Above - The George Albert Draper estate at 66 Adin Street.
Below - The B.H. Bristow (Ben) Draper, Jr. home built on
the site after the original mansion there was razed.