Primary Resource

Carrie Buck Adjudged "Feeble-minded or Epileptic" (January 23, 1924)

Responding to a petition by her foster parents, a court in Charlottesville adjudges the pregnant eighteen-year-old Carrie Buck to be feebleminded and commits her to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded in Madison Heights, near Lynchburg. She will later be sterilized, and an appeal of the order authorizing that procedure and the Virginia law behind will be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell (1927).

Transcription from Original

[fol. 27] Before the Special Board of Directors of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded
Findings and Adjudication of the Commission
Commonwealth of Virginia,

City of Charlottesville, To wit:

Whereas, Carrie E. Buck, who is suspected of being feeble-minded or epileptic, was this day brought before us, C. D. Shackelford, Justice of said county, and J. C. Coulter and J. F. Williams, two physicians (said J. C. Coulter being the physician of said suspected person) constituting a commission to inquire whether the said Carrie E. Buck be feeble-minded or epileptic and a suitable subject for an institution for the care, training and treatment of feeble-minded or epileptic persons; and whereas the Justice has read the warrant and fully explained the nature of the proceedings to the said suspected person, and we, the said physicians, have in the presence (as far as practicable) of the said justice, by personal examination of said Carrie E. Buck, suspected of being feeble-minded or epileptic, and, by inquiry and examination of witnesses, satisfied ourselves as to the mental condition of the said Carrie E. Buck, we the said justice and physicians, constituting the commission aforesaid, do decide that the said Carrie E. Buck is feeble-

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minded, or epileptic, and ought to be confined in an institution for the feeble-minded, or epileptic.

Given under our hands this 23rd day of Jan., 1924.

Commission: C. D. Shackelford, Justice of Peace. J. C. Coulter, Medical Doctor. J. F. Williams, Medical Doctor.

I further certify that the said Carrie E. Buck was personally summoned and was actually present in Court at said hearing.
C. D. Shackelford.