Primary Resource

Carrie Buck Committed (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. 28] Before Special Board of Directors of State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded
Order of Commitment
Commonwealth of Virginia,

City of Charlottesville, To wit:

To the Sergeant of the City of Charlottesville, Va., and to A. S. Priddy, the Superintendent of the State Colony for Epileptic and Feeble-Minded, at Madison Heights, Va., Greetings:

Whereas, I, C. D. Shackelford, a justice of said city of Charlottesville, Va., and J. C. Coulter and J. F. Williams, two physicians, the said J. C. Coulter being the physician to the said Carrie E. Buck, constituting a commission of inquiry, etc., into the mental condition of said Carrie E. Buck, have this day adjudged the said Carrie E. Buck to be feeble-minded and a suitable subject for an institution for the care and treatment of feeble-minded, and a citizen of this State, and without means of support, and no person appearing before me to give bond with sufficient security to be approved by me, payable to the Commonwealth, with condition to restrain and take proper care of the said feeble-minded person, without cost to the said Commonwealth, until the cause of confinement shall cease or the said feeble-minded person is delivered to the superintendent of the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded. I, C. D. Shackelford, do, in the same of said Commonwealth, command you, the said sergeant, to make provisions for the

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suitable and proper care and custody of the said Carrie E. Buck; and you, the said superintendent of the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, are hereby required to receive into the said colony, and into your care and charge, if there be a vacancy in the said colony, the said Carrie E. Buck to be treated and cared for as a feeble-minded person; and I do herewith transmit to you, the said superintendent of the Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, the interrogatories and answers thereto, taken by said commission, touching the mental condition of said Carrie E. Buck, and also the adjudication of the mental condition of the said Carrie E. Buck, a copy of each of which has this day been delivered by me to the clerk of the court of said city.

Given under my hand this 23rd day of January, 1924.
C. D. Shackelford, Justice of Peace.