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sterilization_Ingrams_young_rp0516Last year, Richmond Magazine published a fascinating, well-researched article by the journalist Gary Robertson on the sterilization program at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.

Here’s how the article, “Compensating for the Priceless,” begins:

Sadie Ingram was 5 and her younger sister, Janet, was 2 when an Army truck took them away from their home in Virginia’s Western Highlands more than 60 years ago.

Authorities had come for Sadie and Janet, for their mother, Renee, two other sisters and an aunt who occupied the house. Two older brothers somehow managed to avoid the roundup.

The officers ordered the women to get on the truck. The family would spend the night in the Amherst County Jail before being loaded into the truck again, bound for the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded near Lynchburg, about 100 miles from their Bath County home. Known as “the Colony,” it was the anchor institution for Virginia’s efforts to rid the state of those considered to be mentally defective.

You can read the entire article here.

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