CPS Worker 008525 - Richardson, Channing B.

CPS Worker 008525 - Richardson, Channing B.

Birth year: 1917

Denomination: Friend

Education: BA Amherst 39; 2 yrs Harvard Phd

Original occupation: Student

Occupation after CPS: 2 yr UNRRA Germany, College prof Columbia, Hamilton College

Drafted from: Cambridge , Massachusetts, United States

Entered CPS: 9 2, 1941

Left CPS: 12 6, 1945


Following his discharge from camp #129 in 1945, Richardson published an article called “A Hundred Thousand Defectives” in The Christian Century on January 23, 1946.  It opened confronting faulty beliefs about “feeblemindedness and heredity" before asserting the following:


"When one learns that approximately 80 percent of our defectives inherited their luck, one gets a glimpse of a huge future problem.  The immediate background of the present problem is familiar to social workers—poverty, low home and family standards, delinquency, ignorance and sickness.  A drag on his schoolmates, a joke for the cruel and a threat to his community, the defective committed to a state institution by a court or agency receives little better than custodial care to the end of his days."


Richardson went on to describe an ideal type of environment where such patients would be “secure against dangers, protected from illness and guarded against reproducing his kind” and provided psychometric testing, recreation and work programs.  He also detailed barriers preventing realization of the idea, including institutional problems:


"A catalogue of specific blockages on the road to reform would include interdepartmental rivalry, favoritism, boondoggling, buck-passing, incompetence, fear of supervisors and the future, lack of knowledge and pride in the work, shortsightedness and concern with appearances.”


--Taken from Steven J. Taylor, Acts of Conscience: World War II, Mental Institutions, and Religious Objectors. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2009. p268.


Richardson later became a professor at Hamilton College and acted as a counselor for COs during the Vietnam War. (see Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Expressions of Quaker Conscientious Objection, CDGA).