The Quapaw paradox | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Quapaw paradox

Posted By on Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 11:24 AM

A regular blog reader sends along a tidbit on the Duggar clan. Because the premature birth of their 19th child in an emergency C-section requires extended hospitalization, the family has leased a home in Little Rock so they can stay close.

The house? The historic Cornish House on Arch Street in the Quapaw Quarter.

The paradox -- Hilda Cornish was an early Little Rock advocate of family planning. From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas:

Cornish’s husband committed suicide in 1928. After his death, she devoted much of her time to reform and social work. In the summer of 1930, she met Margaret Sanger, the founder and leader of the American birth control movement. The two developed a friendship maintained by correspondence and occasional meetings. During that summer, Cornish visited Sanger’s Clinical Research Bureau in New York, and she launched the Arkansas birth control movement later that same year.

At Cornish’s initiative, a group of physicians, business and religious leaders, and women active in civic work formed the Arkansas Eugenics Association (AEA). Rabbi Ira Eugene Sanders said, “It was suggested that because the movement might evoke criticism on the part of the rather orthodox and staid community, that we call it the Arkansas Eugenics Association on the grounds that nobody would object to being well born.” In early 1931, the association opened the Little Rock Birth Control Clinic in the basement of Baptist Hospital. There, poor white women could get contraceptives at a time when men and women urgently sought to limit the size of their families.

Hat tip to RJ.


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