In 1825 Dr. Dewees took it upon himself to tell mothers what to do “with the earliest formation of the embryo.” He adjured men and women to choose mates according to the highest physical standards (defined of course by doctors) and to fulfill their “duties to society” by reproducing those same standards, the precedent for such a concern the Enlightenment preoccupation with the improvement of livestock by selective breeding. Amariah Brigham postulated the “ruin” of the United States unless body and mind were developed correctly. His reviewer in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal recognized the doctor’s claims to tell society what to do: “we would that it were the…great and sovereign guide, of every male and female in the country…. Were it so, the next generation would be vastly superior to the present both in bodily vigor and mental energy,” terms carrying a specific meaning for each generation’s bodily economy, and a vision to evolve into programs for the eugenic breeding and sterilization of humans. Confronting “the flood of moral turpitude and mental disease which is sweeping over the country,” Dr. Cook assumed the responsibility of directing “American homes” to their “legitimate work” in mental hygiene, the development and preservation of mental health in concert with the harmonious development of the body. The terms of such analysis and exhortation contradicted Cook’s earlier statement that the “evil is beyond the reach of the legislator or the physician.” Doctors dispensed rules on the grandest scale. When social values were based on the body, doctors had good claim to social authority.2